Hidden disabilities don’t have physical signs and include learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. They can also include asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions as well as chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders when those diseases significantly impact day-to-day life.
Living with these conditions can make daily life more demanding for many people. They affect each person in different ways and can be painful, exhausting, and isolating. Without visible evidence of the hidden disability, it is frequently difficult for others to acknowledge the challenges faced and as a consequence, sympathy and understanding can often be in short supply.
There is no qualifying list of hidden disabilities. If you have a hidden disability and feel that you would benefit from wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower product, please do and click the link further down the page. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower does not entitle you to anything other than that you have a hidden disability and that you may need some assistance, help or a little more time. It is NOT a pass to be fast-tracked nor for any other benefit.
The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme® launched at London Gatwick Airport in May 2016 in order to identify passengers with a hidden disability who may need additional help while travelling. Following its success, the scheme was rolled out across all major UK airports over the following two years. By the end of 2018 UK Rail providers had become members of the scheme and trials were in place at NHS trusts and independent GP surgeries and at major UK supermarkets. Cinemas and visitor attractions throughout the UK in launched the scheme in 2019. Also last year, M&S was the first UK supermarket to roll out the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard in all their UK stores; Sainsbury’s and Argos launched throughout their UK stores; and Tesco launched in all of their stores in the UK and Ireland. Hospitals, insurance companies, shopping centres, sports venues, and arenas all joined across the UK and the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower online store opened up to the general public.
So far this year, Nationwide is trialling the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower becoming the first financial institution to join the scheme and Chelsea Football Club have launched the scheme.