GWR supports passengers with non-visible disabilities through lanyard scheme

Thursday 25th June 2020

GWR is taking part in a scheme designed to support adults and children with non-visible disabilities.

The initiative – the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme – helps those who have a non-visible disability to discreetly indicate that they need extra support or a little more time.

Lanyards with a simple sunflower design are available for free from the GWR Passenger Assist team on 0800 197 1329, by email or by contacting GWR on social media. Once travel restrictions allow, the lanyards will also be made available from station ticket offices.

Participation Manager at the National Deaf Children’s Society, Rosie Eggleston, said:

“It’s great to see another major travel company joining the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme and it’s another important step on the journey towards accessible travel for everyone across society.

“GWR has also worked closely with us to understand how they can support every deaf adult and child travelling on their trains. Face coverings often make communication impossible for deaf people and a little bit of deaf awareness couldn’t be more important at the moment.

“It’s brilliant that companies like GWR are helping to make sure the UK’s 12 million deaf people get the same chance to experience the joy of travel as everyone else.”

The Sunflower lanyard scheme in addition offers a card for those unable to wear a face covering due to disability or illness. If a customer has an exemption and is unable to wear a face covering while travelling, there is a specific card to help support them on their journey. A passenger does not need to have this specific card to travel without a covering.

Person wearing the sunflower lanyard.

Those wearing a lanyard do not need to disclose what disability they have, but station and train staff will be on hand to offer those customers additional support and assistance if they require it.

GWR's Mobility and Inclusion Manager, Neil Craig, said:

“As lockdown is eased and people start to use the railway again, it is more important than ever that we do everything we can to ensure that the services we offer are accessible to those with non-visible disabilities.

“We are immensely proud to be part of the brilliant Sunflower Lanyard Scheme. This initiative will make it easier for our staff to give customers with non-visible disabilities the time, support and assistance that they require.”

From 15 June 2020 it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling on public transport in England. The hidden disabilities card is indicative that an individual may require additional support but does not in itself exempt an individual from wearing a face covering - unless they have a legitimate reason for not doing so. Find out more at

Further information on the Sunflower lanyard scheme can be found on our Passenger Assist page and at the Hidden Disabilities website.

Notes to editors
Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR is a FirstGroup company.