In December 2022, Go Ape joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, an initiative to support people with hidden disabilities. Go Ape offers exhilarating outdoor activities for people of all ages.
The Sunflower is a globally recognised symbol for non-visible disabilities, also known as hidden disabilities or invisible disabilities. Some choose to wear the Sunflower to discreetly identify that they may need support, help, or just a little more time and space.
As members of the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network, Go Ape will enhance their colleagues' knowledge and understanding of non-visible disabilities and how to offer support, whilst encouraging inclusivity and striving for greater accessibility for both customers and each other:
- all of their sites will have Sunflower products in the form of stickers, lanyards and wristbands, which can be given to customers who wish to use them free of charge
- all their co-owners will have access to Hidden Disability Sunflower training to identify and support anyone choosing to wear the Sunflower.
Jack T, Go Ape Matfen Instructor said,
"Before Go Ape, I worked as a Youth Worker specialising in Special Education Needs (SEN), including young people with hidden disabilities. I am autistic and dyspraxic, and one of the things that appealed about Go Ape when I first applied was that they were so open and accessible. Our HR team helped me find the right Go Ape site and role for me.
I really enjoyed working with our team to bring the Sunflower Scheme to Go Ape and am certain that it will help individuals with Hidden Disabilities to enjoy their days out even more. The Sunflower merchandise makes hidden disabilities visible and helps us and the Sunflower wearers to navigate their adventure in a fun and stress-free way."
Emma S, Go Ape Leeds Castle Activity Manager, said,
“I was researching training programmes to upskill my team about hidden disabilities when I came across the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower initiative. Then, once I read up about them, I started noticing Sunflowers everywhere I went.
A lot of my family members have hidden disabilities, so accessibility and inclusivity are topics that I’ve always been passionate about. My mum fostered young people for nearly 15 years so I’ve been lucky to see the impact small things can have on those that need a bit more support.
At our Go Ape sites we ask that customers make our teams aware of any additional needs in their groups but, I thought that the Sunflower Initiative could help to further streamline this process.
The Hidden Disabilities merchandise now available at our cabins will immediately allow our teams to recognise individuals who may require additional assistance and a little more patience. It will also reassure loved ones that we know how to support Sunflower wearers."
Learn more about Go Ape
Is your organisation a member of the Sunflower network?
Is your place of work Sunflower friendly? If not, why not suggest they look into becoming members of the Sunflower? We provide training and assistance to help businesses recognise the Sunflower to support individuals with non-visible disabilities and become confident in providing them with additional help or assistance.
Join an impressive network of organisations so our Sunflower wearers can find you as they plan their days out:
- add your location to the Sunflower location map
- provide details useful for Sunflower-friendly visits
- demonstrate how accessible you are
- tell your story through articles
- and even reveal your Sunflower-friendly events
Become a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network.