As the country’s third busiest railway station, London Liverpool Street will now offer passengers with hidden disabilities a discreet way to ask for extra help while making their journeys.

Launched this week, sunflower branded lanyards and ticket holders can now be picked up from the reception on platform 10 at Liverpool Street Station.

The lanyard and ticket wallets, which are entirely voluntary for anyone who would benefit from them, act as a subtle sign for staff that additional support or help may be required.

Network Rail employees at the station have been specially trained to understand what the sunflower stands for and how they can offer the right help to those passengers who need it.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Travelling by rail for passengers with additional needs can be a daunting experience and we’re always looking at ways our staff can make it easier for people. The sunflower symbol is the perfect way for passengers to discreetly identify themselves to our staff so we can do everything we can to make their journeys as smooth as possible.”

Sunflower lanyards were first launched on 3 December 2019 at Manchester Piccadilly, London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street. They are now being rolled out at other stations.

The initiative is supported by Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and other charities including Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society and Action on Hearing Loss.

The types of hidden disabilities that are eligible for a sunflower lanyard include:

  • autism and Asperger’s
  • learning disabilities 
  • dementia
  • mobility issues (e.g arthritis, MS, ME, chronic illness)
  • visual or hearing impairments.

The ticket holders have been uniquely made by Network Rail and allows for extra discretion should the person wish to only disclose when they need the help, rather than wearing a sunflower lanyard which is on show to everyone.