What is the Sunflower scheme?

We chatted to members of our Disabled Students' Network

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What is the Sunflower Scheme?

Join our Disabled Students' Network

Supporting a safe and inclusive Staffs experience, Staffordshire University and Staffordshire University Students’ Union support the Sunflower Lanyard scheme.


The Invisible Disabilities Sunflower lanyard scheme is a national initiative designed to act as a discreet sign that somebody has an invisible disability and may require additional assistance while out in public.


We asked members of our Disabled Students' Network what they thought about the scheme.


Bal Deol, Student | Disabled Students' Network Lead

"It's a fantastic scheme! It started at Gatwick airpot I think. They had loads of employees with hidden disabilities and they had customers thinking staff were behaving 'weird'."

"It's grown so much now, with big places like Tesco's using it"

"It's really great that Staffs Uni have joined the campaign to promote invisible disabilities and great that students and staff members can use it"

"It's really important that people that need one do get one so that students know it's not a bad thing to have a disability or long term illness - I hope that everyone gets on board!"


Johathan, Student | Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD

"It can sometimes be difficult for me to deal with normal everyday situations mentally and for instance Gatwich AIrport have the sunflower lanyard scheme and they have enabled me to plan my own trip to Spain with minmal fuss with their support so I'm all for this scheme and proud to be a part of it."

"I'm happy that Staffs is doing this scheme, it's very reassuring :-)"


Sarah, Student | Asthmatic, Claustrophbic, Anxiety

"I think, as someone that has anxiety, it's a good idea as most people now reocgnise what the lanyard means and hopefully shouldn't question someone as to why they're not wearing a mask, so people don't have to worry about being confronted (as much anyway)"

"My only concern is that people don't want to wear a mask may abuse the system, as I already know of this happening away from the University"


Sunflower lanyards can now be collected from a number of locations across our Campuses. These include:

  • Stoke-On-Trent – Student Hub (Science Centre), Library Reception (Thompson Library), Campus Security (Cadman) ResLife (Coalport)
  • BlackHeath Lane (Stafford) – Info Point
  • Shrewsbury (Info Point)
  • Staffordshire University London (Reception)

If you are a student and would like to know whether you are eligible for a lanyard or more information on the scheme, please visit the Staffordshire University site.


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