Serving the people of Helmsley and Carlton

Helmsley Town Council is proud to support the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme.

Ryedale residents with a hidden disability can now pick up a sunflower lanyard designed to act as a discreet sign to others that they may need additional help.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower has increasingly been adopted by large supermarkets and airports, as it allows everyone with a hidden disability to choose to be subtly visible when they need to be.

North Yorkshire County Council's Stronger Communities team has rolled out the scheme with Ryedale's five town councils and local voluntary organisations Ryedale Special Families, Ryedale Sight Support and Camphill Village Trust. Ryedale District Council has joined the scheme and trained its staff.

Lisa Keenan, Chief Officer of Ryedale Special Families, said: "We have a number of families who have already benefitted from the Sunflower Scheme so it is great to hear that our councils are also adopting the scheme. Anything that promotes understanding and acceptance of hidden disabilities it a positive step."

Organisers agreed that the scheme may be helpful with social distancing, as it can be difficult for those with disabilities to be able to put it into practice.

County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities, said: "Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more demanding for many people, and it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced.

"Last year we piloted the scheme at Harrogate library, which proved a great success. We have found that during the pandemic it is more important than ever to raise awareness of hidden disabilities with local businesses and the wider public."

Councillor Ian Saggers of Helmsley Town Council added: "The Sunflower Scheme can only be good for Ryedale, its residents, businesses and visitors by increasing awareness of hidden disabilities."

If you have a hidden disability and would like one of the sunflowers, they are available free of charge from any of the above organisations.

If you are a local organisation which would like to register with the scheme, please email for more details.

Helmsley residents may pick up free lanyards at the Co-op, Costcutters, Porters and Todds.

The sunflowers are available for Helmsley's residents with Hidden Disabilities free of charge from the Co-op, Costcutters, Todds Newsagents, Porters and Helmsley Town Council. Bransdale View Extra Care facility also has sunflowers for its residents.

For more information and to see the full range of sunflowers - see the Hidden Disabilities Store at

Last updated: Sat, 26 Mar 2022 01:31