Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme

Type of service:
Independent Living
Unit 10 Coldharbour Pinnacles Estate, Lovet Road, Harlow, Essex CM19 5JL
Service description:

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme helps people self-designate as having an invisible disability.

The term 'hidden disability' refers to any condition that significantly impacts a person's day-to-day life but might not be immediately apparent to strangers. They include:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health conditions
  • Specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia or dyspraxia)
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Speech and language issues
  • Sensory impairments
  • Mobility issues
  • Chronic illnesses (such as kidney failure or diabetes)
  • Lung conditions (such as asthma or COPD)
  • Incontinence (caused by ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, etc.)
  • Neurological disorders (such as epilepsy, dementia, or ME)
  • Chronic pain (caused by arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.)

Wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard discreetly indicates to people around the wearer (including staff, colleagues, and health professionals) that they might need additional support, help, or a little more time. Since its launch in 2016, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme has been adopted globally by major airports and venues and in the UK. These include supermarkets, railway and coach stations, leisure facilities, the NHS, a number of police, fire, and ambulance services, and an increasing number of small and large businesses and organisations.

When a person wears a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard, they may find that people around them ask what they can do to assist them. The lanyards are usually plain, but can be customised to provide more information (if the wearer wishes). 

Sunflower Lanyards are available free-of-charge to customers from businesses and organisations who are members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme. You can also order the lanyards (and other merchandise) from the online store

Contact provider for cost details
Age range:
0 - 100 years
Eligibility criteria:
  • SEND descriptors
Referral route:
  • Contact service direct
  • No referral needed
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