The importance of ‘accessibility’ is high on the agenda at award-winning, visitor attraction Thornton Hall Country Park in North Yorkshire/Lancashire. And they are delighted to have signed up to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, to support their employees and visitors with non-visible disabilities.

The Sunflower allows visitors with non-visible disabilities to discreetly let others know that they may need extra support, understanding or more time.

Park owners Chris and Emma Harrison feel strongly that all ages and abilities should be able to access and enjoy the Park’s activities and special events.

Owner Emma Harrison says

“It is hugely important to us that ALL our visitors have a fantastic experience and can fully access the attraction and our special events. Our amazing team always go above and beyond to assist our visitors, including those that may need extra support or by adapting an activity so they can take part. As new members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, we can continue to highlight the importance of accessibility, not only at our attraction but across the tourism sector.”

Following a recent accessibility survey, Thornton Hall Country Park are working with Dr Leighanne Higgins (Senior Lecturer in Consumer Behaviour at Lancaster University Management School, Department of Marketing) on accessibility planning and strategy building. The attraction is looking to further improve their accessibility in 2023 with the introduction of quiet sessions in the soft play centre and the provision of disability training for employees.

Special Relationships. In spite of the attraction’s growth, Thornton Hall Country Park believe their first-class team contribute significantly to repeat visits. Nothing is too much trouble - being flexible is an essential part of the job, adapting activities as required to accommodate individual’s needs.

Special relationships between staff and visitors are frequently reflected in the 5-star reviews that mention staff:

Visitor Charlotte Rimmer says

“You should be so proud of the staff you have. They really make this place special and stand out from the rest. They are the most upbeat and passionate staff I have come across on all our days out over the years. It's safe to say we had a terrific day out.”

JLD, Leeds (Trip Advisor) says

“Our boy has additional needs … special thanks to James for being fantastic with our son when he was upset, getting him to help so he had a purpose whilst we watched our daughter on a ride - something so simple that had such a great impact on our visit.”

Paul White, CEO, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said

“The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is an obvious inclusion to Thornton Hall Country Park’s accessibility offer. The Sunflower is a discreet tool that will further assist staff in supporting visitors with non-visible disabilities who may need some extra help, patience and understanding. Being able to experience a full and fun day out is made even more possible by the team’s positive approach to disability inclusion.”

Learn more about Thornton Hall Country Park and Thornton Hall Farm


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:

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  • demonstrate how accessible you are
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  • and even reveal your Sunflower-friendly events

Become a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network.