Greater Manchester Tesco stores adopt sunflower lanyard to help customers with hidden disabilities

Date published: 05 December 2019

Tesco stores across Greater Manchester have begun providing sunflower lanyards at all of its stores, as of Tuesday (3 December). 

The sunflower lanyard acts as a discreet sign that the wearer has a hidden disability and could require additional assistance.

Tesco colleagues will be able to offer help such as speaking face-to-face to allow lip reading, packing bags and taking them to the customers’ cars or reading labels for partially-sighted customers.

Every store will display a permanent sign which says that the sunflower lanyard is recognised there.

The move is one of several to promote disability inclusion for customers and colleagues in 2020, as the retailer has also pledged to create another 27 Changing Places toilets next year (none are planned for the Rochdale borough yet).

Changing Places toilets are spaces designed for people with disabilities that mean they need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. The toilets are larger and have specialist equipment such as hoists, privacy screen and a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench.

Alessandra Bellini, Tesco Chief Customer Officer, said: “We work hard to ensure that everyone feels welcome at Tesco and want our stores to be as accessible as possible.

“It’s clear how important Changing Places and sunflower lanyards are to our customers who need them, and we’ll continue to explore ways we can do more for customers with disabilities.”

For the first time this year, Tesco’s Christmas television advert is being audio-described for blind and partially sighted people, and in October, the supermarket trialled a ‘quiet hour’ as part of the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, where stores dimmed the lights and lower noise levels to create a calmer atmosphere for autistic customers.

 In 2018, Tesco became the first UK supermarket to launch larger nappies specifically designed for children with disabilities.

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