Sunflower lanyards can be worn by individuals with hidden disabilities as a way of discreetly letting others know they might need extra assistance in certain situations. This can be useful for people affected by conditions such as dementia, autism and anxiety. Of course, this is only naming a few. Anyone with a hidden disability can benefit from the scheme. Many people living with hidden disabilities can feel uncomfortable having to explain the nature of their disability with strangers, particularly in public places. There can also be the fear that others may judge them for asking for help, because externally it may appear as though nothing is wrong.
Many organisations are now training their teams to recognise the significance of someone wearing a sunflower lanyard and to be sensitive to their needs. This includes Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Argos, LNER trains and many UK airports.
The extra help offered as a result of someone wearing their sunflower lanyard could involve tasks like having help with packing your bags at the supermarket. If someone is visually impaired, for example, they may need help getting on the correct train if they’re travelling. If standing for prolonged periods is challenging, the lanyard can get someone access to priority seating. If bladder and/or bowel urgency is an issue, the lanyard can get someone priority access to public toilets.
How do I get a sunflower lanyard?
Sunflower lanyards are often provided in areas where staff have received training on the scheme. For example, Tesco and Sainsburys. However, if you’d like to purchase a sunflower lanyard of your own which you can keep handy at all times, this can be purchased on the Hidden Disabilities store here.