A place to watch the match
Ipswich Town Football Club at Portman Road has joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network.
Supporters who wish to share that they have a disability or condition that is not immediately obvious can do so by wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard.
Club stewards and other supporter-facing staff have received training to ensure that they can provide further assistance for those wearing a lanyard, where required.
This move, which comes during Level Playing Field's Unite For Action campaign, marks another step towards making Portman Road, both on match days and non-match days, a more inclusive and accessible environment.
It also follows the announcement that sensory packs, which are provided by Ipswich Town Foundation, will now be available on match days at Portman Road.
Lee Smith, the Club’s Disability Liaison Officer, said: "The Club continues to strive to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Being members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower will help supporters who may need extra time or assistance feel more included at Portman Road. It's also an opportunity for supporters to acknowledge that some of their fellow fans may need more time, patience and understanding. Asking a supporter the simple question, 'are you ok?' may just make all the difference to their experience on a match day or non-match day."
Paul White, CEO at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, said: “I am delighted that Ipswich Town Football Club has joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. It will provide home and away fans with non-visible disabilities the security they need to ensure that they will be met with an offer of support, understanding and kindness when they visit Portman Road. The Club has done a lot to improve its accessibility, and the Sunflower is an important part of that.”
A place to be lucky
Camelot, the operator of The National Lottery, has joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network to support its colleagues.
Helen Wright, People Business Partner, Camelot said: "We’re proud to become members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower initiative. By choosing to wear a Sunflower lanyard, our people with hidden disabilities can discreetly indicate that they may need additional support, help or time from those around them. We're hoping this is another step towards breaking down the stigma surrounding disabilities and offering our people a #PlaceToBeYou."
As operator of The National Lottery, Camelot is committed to raising money for Good Causes through selling National Lottery tickets in a socially responsible way. National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for Good Causes – supporting projects in diverse communities across the UK. But looking after colleagues is just as important to Camelot. Creating an inclusive workspace where people with non-visible disabilities can bring their whole selves to work and feel supported is therefore essential.
A place to call home
Raven Housing Trust announces that they have become a member of the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network as part of its commitment to ensure equity and accessibility throughout its business. The Sunflower exists to support and raise awareness of those living with a non-visible disability, and Raven is committed to supporting their employees and customers with hidden disabilities.
Raven’s customers and colleagues with non-visible disabilities can advise if they have a non-visible disability, or they can choose to discretely wear the Sunflower, such as on a lanyard or badge to indicate their need for additional support, assistance with different activities, or just to simply have more time. Raven employees will receive training about hidden disabilities to deepen their understanding of how these conditions may make everyday experiences challenging, which will be invaluable when delivering services to customers and collaborating internally. Customers can pick up a Sunflower lanyard from reception.
As a Disability Confident Committed Employer, Raven is dedicated to being a truly inclusive organisation with equity and accessibility embedded throughout the organisation’s culture and processes.
Raven's Head of People and Culture said: “Inclusivity is a vital part of our culture and aligns with our values of Trust, Understand, Collaborate, and Care. We want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves, and supporting colleagues with hidden disabilities is an important aspect of this.”
Raven's Executive Director of Customer Experience said: “Raven is proud to become a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network because it helps us in developing a better understanding of the needs of our customers, so that we can improve our accessible services and facilities and demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity”
A place to fly to, in India
Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, India (BLR Airport) joined the global Sunflower network in December 2022, offering passengers with hidden disabilities the opportunity to travel with confidence by choosing to wear the Sunflower.
Navigating unfamiliar places and procedures while catching a flight can be stressful, especially for passengers with disabilities. And, not all disabilities are visible – some disabilities can be invisible to an onlooker, such as low vision, autism, dementia, or hearing loss.
The Sunflower provides an extra layer of assistance for people with a hidden disability and helps make their airport experience more comfortable and anxiety-free. BLR Airport staff have been trained to identify Sunflower lanyards and to offer additional support, such as allowing more time for passengers to complete a particular procedure or guiding them through airport processes.
Passengers can collect a free lanyard from the customer service kiosks in the terminal building just before entering security. While they provide a discreet signal to airport staff, wearing a lanyard does not guarantee fast tracking through security or any preferential expedited service.
Passengers should contact their respective airlines and make them aware of any special assistance requirements (such as wheelchairs) they may have before they travel.
Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Operating Officer, Bangalore International Airport Ltd, said: “Our staff are excited about the Sunflower programme, that not only brings a positive change for travellers but has also broadened their understanding of hidden disabilities. The extra layer of assistance that this programme provides for people with hidden disabilities will help make their airport experience more comfortable.”
Paul White, CEO of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, said: “We are delighted that the first Indian airport, Kempegowda International Airport, BLR - Bengaluru has joined the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. As a thriving destination for business and culture, BLR now welcomes both domestic and international passengers with non-visible disabilities who choose to wear the Sunflower to discreetly indicate to staff that they may need support and a bit more time in what can be an overwhelming environment.”
Since opening in 2008 the Airport has seen unprecedented growth in passenger volumes, serving over 33 million passengers in 2019, and becoming one of the fastest-growing airports in the world. As the busiest airport in South India and the third largest in the country, BLR Airport achieved a significant milestone in June 2022 by crossing the 250 million passenger mark since the launch of its operations.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and BLR staff will be helping thousands of passengers transition through the airport daily!