Help for those with hidden disabilities

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TransPennine Express (TPE) and Hull Trains have introduced Sunflower Lanyards and assistance cards to make journeys easier for customers who have non-visible disabilities.

The scheme, which was developed at Gatwick Airport in 2016 and is now used in other airports in the United Kingdom along with supermarkets chains, allows those with hidden disabilities, such as autism and visual impairment, to make themselves visible to railway staff, indicating that they may need some extra assistance while travelling.

Nicola Robinson, co-founder and trustee of Aim Higher, commented: “Just because you can’t see a disability, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Sunflower Lanyards are a great way of giving hidden disabilities a voice, as well as offering a safe, inclusive journey, give the ability to someone with a hidden disability.”

Charlie French, accessibility and integration manager at TransPennine Express, added: “One of our main aims at TransPennine Express is to make rail travel accessible and comfortable for as many people as we can. For those with non-visible disabilities, rail travel can be a daunting experience, which is why we are delighted to be launching Sunflower Lanyards and assistance cards for our customers to try and make their journeys as comfortable as possible.

“By wearing one of these lanyards, or using the cards, it helps our station and on-board colleagues know who may need a little extra assistance and ensure that their journey is a smooth and enjoyable one.”