Hidden Disability Lanyard Scheme proves big success

28 August 2019

The Sunflower Lanyard is being used by major travel hubs and some supermarkets in the UK. 

If you or a loved one are living with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, we know that travelling or shopping can be a stressful and uncertain time.

Whether that’s due to added anxiety of finding a toilet urgently or having to go through airport security, these can all cause understandable worry. 

Because Crohn’s and Colitis are invisible disabilities, some passengers may feel that they will be judged by asking a member of staff for help or having to spend time trying to explain their symptoms.

The sunflower lanyard is a simple aid which allows staff and others to know that someone is living with an invisible disability and if appropriate, to prompt a quick conversation about whether the wearer may need extra support or assistance.

We’ve had very good feedback from supporters about the scheme and would recommend using a sunflower lanyard if you feel you or a loved one would benefit from it.

One of our supporters even combined the lanyard with our Can't Wait Card, which was recognised by British Airways staff.


I had a great experience using this [lanyard] at Heathrow airport and on a British Airways flight. I'm not sure if anyone has thought of this but I put my ‘can’t wait card’ in the other side so I could show cabin crew (I asked to use the toilets on first class if the other toilet was busy).

Adel Klaudia

If you are travelling, check if this lanyard is available at the airport and how you can obtain one. These are normally obtained through contacting the Special Assistance service at the airport or through your airline.

Sainsbury’s have also rolled out the scheme and Tesco are currently trialing the scheme in Hertfordshire stores. The lanyards can be requested from the customer service desk of larger stores or at the checkout at smaller ones.

If you have any feedback about the lanyards please email our Campaigns Team. We’d love to hear from you.