Melton store to help shoppers with hidden disabilities

June Dickinson (left) and Hayley Dickson show off the new sunflower lanyards for customers at Sainsburys' store in Melton EMN-190918-094941001
June Dickinson (left) and Hayley Dickson show off the new sunflower lanyards for customers at Sainsburys' store in Melton EMN-190918-094941001
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A Melton store is to offer special ‘sunflower lanyards’ to customers with hidden disabilities such as autism or dementia so they can can give them discreet assistance if required while they shop.

The scheme is being started at Sainsbury’s, on Nottingham Road, from October 7.

The supermarket chain say they are the first retailer to launch such a service in all its stores across the UK.

A spokesperson said: “The sunflower lanyard allows people who may not want to share details of their hidden disability an opportunity to discreetly ask for assistance.

“We want all customers to feel comfortable shopping in our store, but for customers with hidden disabilities, such as autism, dementia and other conditions, shopping may be difficult, therefore the Sunflower Lanyards allow for colleagues to recognise when someone may want help but do not want to ask.”

All customers with hidden disabilities, or family and friends of people suffering from them, are invited to go to the customer service desk at the Melton store and ask for one of the special lanyards.

It can be worn or simply held in hand for staff to recognise.

Sainsbury’s say they brought in the scheme as a way of improving customer service.

The spokesperson added: “We have trialled the sunflower lanyards in up to 39 stores and received very positive feedback from customers and colleagues and are happy to say that the service will now be available at Sainsbury’s Melton Mowbray.”