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Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme was originally created to act as a discreet sign to staff and work colleagues that the wearer (or somebody who is with them) has a hidden disability and requires additional assistance.  The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme was first launched at Gatwick Airport in May 2016.  It is now being successfully introduced to several major UK airports, supermarkets, railway stations and sports venues.  Each day, many more organisations are joining the scheme and it is also starting to be recognised globally.  With this increased awareness, Sunflower Lanyard wearers benefit more widely from help being offered to make their daily living a little easier.

Wearing the Sunflower Lanyard indicates to people around you that you may require assistance and that that the help required may be different for each person.

Full details of the Scheme can be found here:

Sainsbury’s has recently announced a nationwide roll-out of sunflower lanyards in stores as part of an initiative to support customers with hidden disabilities.  The initiative offers shoppers the option to pick up a free sunflower lanyard in store, which has been designed to act as a sign for store colleagues that they may need to provide a customer with additional support.  This support could include:

  • more time at the checkout
  • assistance with finding shopping items
  • assistance with packing bags
  • speaking face-to-face to allow lip reading
  • using clear and easy-to-understand language
  • help with hard-to-reach products
  • making others aware a person may be struggling or have behavioural issues.

Sunflower lanyards are currently available at Sainsbury’s in Carlisle and may also be available in other Sainsbury’s outlets throughout Cumbria and the rest of the United Kingdom.  Lanyards are also available at, or are being trialled at other outlets, and so should become increasingly widespread.

Headway North Cumbria members may find that a Sunflower Lanyard is a useful addition to the Headway Brain Injury Identity Card that they may already have.  A lanyard can be picked up from any participating store, airport, station or sports venue at a customer service desk or at checkout.  The lanyards are free, available to keep, and no proof of disability will be needed to obtain one.  Alternatively, a lanyard can be purchased from The Hidden Disabilities Store for 66p plus postage.