The Sunflower Lanyard, which launched nationally in 2016, is designed to identify passengers with a hidden disability who may need additional help while travelling.
Around one in ten of the UK population have a non-visible condition and surveys suggest that people with disabilities avoid using rail travel due to difficulties they have faced on their previous experiences.
As part of the scheme, TfW staff have been trained to recognise the lanyard and that the wearer may need additional help or time.
Staff are also encouraged to make themselves visible and approachable and be proactive in supporting anyone wearing the lanyard.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said:
“I’m delighted that we have signed up to the Sunflower Lanyard scheme. At Transport for Wales, we’re committed to promoting equality and diversity in everything we do, and this includes working to support those living with disabilities in using our services.
“Our involvement in this scheme is just one way in which we support those customers who require extra help to travel, and we’re looking to build on this with better access for all our customers, as we work to create an accessible public transport the people of Wales and the borders are proud of.”
Dr Robert Gravelle, Transport for Wales Accessibility and Inclusion Manager, said:
“We’re proud to have joined the Sunflower Lanyard scheme as a new way of supporting our customers living with hidden disabilities.
“The lanyards have been very popular throughout the UK since they were launched four years ago, and I’m delighted that we’re able to support the scheme along with our rail industry partners throughout the country.
“Each and every customer on our network matters, and I hope that in joining the scheme, we’re able to help more people feel empowered to use public transport.”
The Sunflower Lanyard scheme is one of several initiatives that TfW are involved in to help support independent travel for customers. Other initiatives include the Orange Wallet Scheme for customers who would like support in communicating with staff, the Assistance Dog Travel Scheme and audio guide to assist customers with sight loss, and the InterpreterNow app to aid communication between Deaf BSL customers and front-line staff. TfW also offer assisted travel via the Passenger Assist service, which allows customers the opportunity to book assistance on their journey in advance.
Customers will be able to have a free sunflower lanyard posted directly to them by contacting the TfW Customer Relations team on 0333 3211 202 or by email at email@example.com.
More information is available on the initiatives for independent travel that TfW can offer on the TfW Rail Services website: https://tfwrail.wales/before-your-journey/accessible-travel/.