Passengers who travel with London North Eastern Railway (LNER) can now use sunflower lanyards to show staff they may need additional assistance at stations or during their journey.
The bright green, sunflower print lanyard is becoming the established symbol of hidden disabilities in the UK. The lanyard has been designed to discreetly let staff know that customers have a condition such as autism, dementia or a visual impairment without the customer having to locate the staff member.
LNER, which runs services on the East Coast Main Line through Peterborough, is the first train company to introduce the scheme following the successful introduction of the lanyards at several major UK airports and supermarkets. The Sunflower Lanyard scheme has been endorsed by hidden disability charities.
LNER is taking the scheme one step further by creating sunflower ambassadors along the 936 mile route extending between London, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland. The volunteers from various parts of the LNER business will be trained on how best to help customers with hidden disabilities.
Amber Robinson, head of customer experience at LNER, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for all of our customers to travel with us. For people with hidden disabilities it can understandably be an unnerving experience travelling on public transport. We are therefore delighted to be introducing the sunflower lanyard on our services.
“By wearing one of the lanyards it helps inform our on-board and station teams that you may need some assistance or just a friendly hello whilst travelling with us.
“We’re really pleased that we’ll also be able to provide further support via our sunflower ambassadors. If any of our customers spot our employees wearing one of the lanyards they should be reassured that someone is on hand that has been trained in how to help people with hidden disabilities.“
For customers who do not already have a sunflower lanyard they can order them for free by contacting the LNER Customer Solutions Centre, collecting them from any LNER station or by contacting LNER on social media.