intu Derby backs sunflower lanyard scheme ahead of Purple Tuesday

intu Derby backs sunflower lanyard scheme ahead of Purple Tuesday

intu Derby is one of the first shopping centres in the UK to back the sunflower lanyard scheme to provide more help to visitors with hidden disabilities.

People with invisible conditions can collect and wear a lanyard from the popular destination’s customer service desk to signal that they may need more support during their visit.

It will act as a discreet sign to staff that the wearer could require help or a little more time with things like finding their way around a centre or store and getting access to a quiet space or close-by toilet facilities, due to conditions such as autism, dementia or diabetes.

Demand for the initiative has soared since it was first introduced by Gatwick Airport, with more than 10,000 sunflower lanyards collected following its launch three years ago.

intu has worked with Gatwick Airport to roll out the scheme at its popular shopping and leisure destinations across the UK and has also introduced a sunflower dog lead sleeve that will allow staff to easily recognise and support anyone bringing an assistance animal into an intu centre.

It is one of a number of measures to create more accessible shopping and leisure experiences for intu Derby’s visitors and has been introduced ahead of Purple Tuesday on Tuesday 12th November, a day devoted to the needs of disabled shoppers.

Free sensory backpacks, which contain a number of different items to help autistic children enjoy their shopping experience, will also be available to hire from intu Derby’s customer service desk later this month. Designed by parents of autistic children, the bags include ear defenders, egg timers, sunglasses, fidget toys and an autism friendly guide to the centre. 

Adam Tamsett at intu Derby, said:

“We want to ensure that intu’s retail and leisure destinations are accessible and inclusive places for everyone. Nobody should feel excluded.”

“The measures we are introducing will help every visitor to feel welcome to enjoy a fantastic experience at intu Derby.”

intu visitor Charley Ann said:

“Having two children on the autistic spectrum and attempting shopping is difficult for many reasons. They may act in a way that seems strange to others, but the lanyard may help people understand why. It’s also great for staff members to identify that we may need extra assistance.”

intu Derby also runs regular quiet hours every Monday to Saturday from 9am – 10am and its staff are trained to support people with autism and dementia.

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