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We wear the sunflower lanyard

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Working at HM Land Registry

As part of National Inclusion Week, HM Land Registry’s Disabled Employee Network wanted to do something which would make a difference. It has taken some planning, and of course, the inevitable delay due to coronavirus (COVID-19), but we are proud to announce the rollout of the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme at HM Land Registry.

The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

The scheme is designed to discreetly indicate, using a visible sign, that the wearer has a hidden disability and may require additional support, help or a little more time while out in public. It may be that the individual wears a sunflower lanyard or displays a virtual indicator.

You may have spotted someone wearing a sunflower lanyard or seen a poster in your local supermarket, railway station, leisure facilities or local health centre.

Hidden disabilities

Some disabilities don't have physical signs and are not immediately obvious. This can include learning difficulties, mental health issues, as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments, or any other condition that inhibits day-to-day living.

Robin Malpas, Head of Local Lawyer Group, says:

Hidden disabilities present challenges that go beyond the particular disability. How do you know, for example, that the person you are talking to can’t hear what you are saying and needs to lipread to be able to communicate with you? Of course, they can explain, but the Hidden Disability Sunflower lanyard scheme is a subtle way of letting others know that you have a disability.

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering because of their disability and a Sunflower lanyard will hopefully prevent them from being challenged on a regular basis when out and about during the current pandemic.

HM Land Registry colleagues wearing their sunflower lanyards

This is a purely voluntary scheme. We’ve already received positive feedback from colleagues taking part outside of work, and we hope it will enhance and compliment the services that we already provide for our people and visitors to HM Land Registry.

Travel made easy

Wendy wearing a sunflower lanyard

Having purchased my own lanyard, I've used it a number of times when travelling. The first was flying to and from the United States. In both the airport in Newcastle and in Amsterdam it was instantly recognised, and staff gave assistance such as fast tracking at scanning and customs, ensuring I boarded easily. On the flight, the staff were also caring and considerate.

I booked a train journey which involved a number of changes. I struggle with this as I cannot hear announcements. We booked assistance and I wore my lanyard. I did not need to search out the staff at the station – they recognised the lanyard and approached me. They asked what assistance I required. While you don’t have to, I explained I was hearing impaired and what I had difficultly with. The staff then automatically faced me to speak and ensured I was looking before they spoke.  It was brilliant. It took away my fears about being on the wrong train and it made me feel comfortable and confident about travelling. No missed announcements meaning I was on the right platform and caught the right train.

Having the lanyard made both experiences, rather than a dread, something to relax and enjoy.

Having a recognised scheme in HM Land Registry will make it easier for staff and visitors with a hidden disability to be given assistance at any point from entry into the building, in meetings both physical or virtual.

This is one of many ways that HM Land Registry strives to support disabled employees.

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  1. Comment by Wilson rush posted on

    Lovely story to read as a glaucoma sufferer long term in both eyes

    Well done

  2. Comment by julian berg posted on

    what a lovely and simple idea and well done for supporting it

  3. Comment by Kathleen posted on

    I have found the sunflower lanyard a great help l have even noticed how the people at checkout in store s even more helpful in that they have attempted to sign to me seeing as l also wear a notice that states l have a hearing loss l feel so much more at ease and not so stressed and awkward when l do a shop in all it is a great help to people like myself

  4. Comment by Simon posted on

    Great to hear to hear you have introduced this Scheme to HM Land Registry. We also launched the Scheme in our Department during National Inclusion Week, following a location-based trial last year - it would be great if we could collaborate and share our activities regarding this Scheme; do you have a contact email?

  5. Comment by Laird drew levy posted on

    I have had my lanyard sunflower since it was started & it has been a real help to me, l have one problem that keeps popping while in my local morrison's store, l have had a number of people come up to me stating, you should be wearing a mask, it's people like you that pass covid 19', l have found this to be very hurtful.