Making the Invisible Visible

This week sees the launch of The Uckfield Dementia Forum’s Sunflower Lanyard project.

Wearing a sunflower lanyard is a discreet way of letting others know that you have a hidden disability – one which is not immediately obvious. This could include dementia, mobility problems, speech, visual or hearing impairments as well as learning difficulties and mental health issues.

The Uckfield Dementia Forum is making these lanyards available free of charge for any local resident that will benefit from wearing one. They are not just for those living with dementia. Each lanyard comes complete with a card where essential contact details and a note of the assistance required can be recorded.

Volunteers from the Forum are currently contacting businesses in the town to make sure that they are aware of the scheme and to encourage them to welcome and support customers that may need a little bit of extra help.

From Monday anyone that feels they would benefit from a free lanyard can collect one from the Town Council Offices in the Civic Centre.

Businesses or residents that would like to know more about the scheme can call 01825 762774 for more details.

The Uckfield Dementia Forum includes representatives from those organisations in the town that have an interest in caring and supporting those that live with dementia. It includes representatives from the Town Council and the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance.

The sunflower lanyard initiative arose from a suggestion made at an Uckfield Dementia Forum meeting. The Forum was discussing the particular problems some face at the moment with what can be a bewildering display of signs and rules that have been put in place in shops as part of their Covid-19 precautions. It was agreed that adopting the sunflower lanyard scheme might go some way to help those who need extra assistance.

The idea has since been taken up by the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance which is about to launch it across all of Wealden towns. The Alliance kindly made a supply of the lanyards available to the Forum without any cost.

Paul Sparks, Chairman of the Uckfield Dementia Forum, said:
“I think this is a simple and clear way for local residents to show they might need a little more help and, just as importantly, give them the confidence to venture out and visit our local shops. My thanks to all within the town that are supporting this initiative.”