Wearables launched to support Sunflower scheme

Supporting social distancing awareness campaign

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme, the organisation behind the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, has launched a new range of wearable items that it hopes will help people who struggle to social distance.

The products, which include face coverings, badges, snoods and lanyards saying, ‘Please give me space’, were created by Hidden Disabilities in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Cabinet Office.

Research by RNIB found that 70 per cent of disabled people felt that it was difficult to social distance, and a small number reported being confronted by other members of the public for being unable to keep a distance. More than 80 per cent felt that a social distance indicator was a good idea and that it would help others understand that they needed space, and provide them with more confidence when in public areas.

Marc Powell, Strategic accessibility lead at the RNIB, said: “Social distancing has completely turned the world upside down for blind and partially sighted people. In fact, two thirds of people with vision impairment told us in a survey that they felt less independent since lockdown started back in March. This is largely due to challenges and anxieties around social distancing.

“For those who want to use it, the ‘Please give me space’ products will provide an option to indicate to passers-by that social distancing is either difficult or particularly important. In turn, this will help improve our confidence and allow us to participate in daily life, such as shopping and exercise, in the same way as everyone else.”

The ‘Please give me space’ emblem has been designed inclusively for any person who feels anxious about social distancing, by giving them a way to signal to others that they need to be given space. Businesses are also making the symbol more recognisable by joining the initiative and spreading awareness through staff training and customer awareness.

To find out more about the ‘Please give me space initiative’ click here.