Go North East adopts the sunflower lanyard scheme to help customers with hidden disabilities


O North East, the region’s largest bus company, has joined the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme that helps assist individuals with hidden disabilities to feel more confident to complete everyday

tasks. The scheme is popular across the whole of the UK and has been adopted by lots of businesses from Tesco and Sainsbury’s to smaller independent businesses.

Go North East is the first bus operator in the North East to join the scheme, which has also been adopted in the region for travel by rail operator LNER and Newcastle Airport, helping people with ‘hidden’ conditions such as autism, hearing loss and multiple sclerosis. By wearing the lanyard or using one of the sunflower cards, it lets people discreetly know that the customer may need some extra assistance, patience or time when travelling. Martijn Gilbert, managing director at Go North East, said: “We’re delighted to get on board with the Sunflower

Lanyard Scheme. Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced. This is the latest addition to the extensive awareness training our colleagues receive, which includes work with the likes of the Alzheimer’s Society and RNIB.

“By wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard or using the cards, customers can discreetly let our drivers know that they may need additional support, help or a little more time.”

Paul White, CEO at the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme, added: “We

are very excited that Go North East is the first bus operator in the North East to join the scheme. This will be hugely beneficial to support the wearers of the Sunflower whilst travelling on their network.”

To find out more about the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, visit

NEW BHTA website introduces Product and Find a Retailer search facilities


RITISH HEALTHCARE TRADES ASSOCIATION (BHTA) have launched their new website to help healthcare

professional and consumers. Their new product search, designed to make it

easy to find products like PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) via their First Aid Medical Equipment link, to a wide range of community. mobility and independent living equipment to make life easier. The search facilities connects website visitors to a wide range of BHTA member companies, who are specialists in their chosen fields. Once you have found the product you, need you can call, email or click through to the website to get more help and advice. With many NHS services restarting their

services, and consumers looking for products after lockdown eases, these two search facilities will help you find the products and information you need. Steve Perry, Marketing and Communications

Manager for BHTA said; “We get lots of telephone calls into our office from consumers looking for retail showrooms to visit, and product information requests from our face to face meetings with healthcare professionals at exhibitions and conferences. We could see sourcing information as important to help their jobs. These new search facilities will make it easier for everyone to make contact with our members and get advice on, product information, demonstrations, and ordering”. Their website Information Centre is a good

resource for topics such as, flying with a disability, and their Get wise publications covering pressure car, stairlift, advice for parents, decontamination and infection and many other subjects are used by professionals across the UK. The website is continuously developing, and if

you cannot find the product you are searching for, send BHTA an email, and they will try to help you find a member who can help you.

Visit the new BHTA website at 14 Ability Needs Magazine

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