Introducing the sunflower lanyard to intu

Chantal Boyle, intu's CR executive, explains why we have introduced the sunflower lanyard to intu centres

We have undertaken a number of measures to create more accessible shopping and leisure experiences at intu centres. We created our own autism friendly guides to help people plan a trip to any intu centre in advance to help alleviate any anxiety or stress. We also host regular quieter shopping times, lowering lighting levels and turning down music.

Following on from visitor feedback we decided to expand our offer to include the many hidden disabilities that aren’t always obvious.

We met with Sara Marchant at Gatwick Airport who introduced us to the ‘sunflower’, a discrete and beautiful symbol. The sunflower is printed onto lanyards and passengers will wear one to signal to staff that they may require more help or extra time. Following its success there, it is now available at other UK airports and has started to be recognised elsewhere.

It is absolutely wonderful that intu have worked with us so collaboratively and with such positivity to help make things better for people with a range of disabilities and impairments.

Sarah Marchant
Customer relations, Heathrow airport

intu is the first shopping centre landlord to introduce the scheme at its centres. We offer stickers or lanyards free for customers who wish to make themselves known to the people who work in our centres and their stores, restaurants and leisure attractions. By wearing one, they are reassured that they will be given that extra time and consideration needed to enjoy a relaxing and stress-free shopping experience.

We are also the first company in the UK to introduce a sunflower dog lead sleeve for visitors with assistance dogs. This will allow staff to easily recognise and support anyone bringing the animal into an intu centre

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