Tuesday 8 Dec 2020
‘Sunflower’ Christmas tree highlights help for passengers with non-visible disabilities
A sunflower decorated Christmas tree has been made by staff at Euston station to promote its support for passengers with non-visible disabilities.
Last year Network Rail launched its sunflower lanyards and ticket holders as part of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme.
The Christmas tree makeover is to promote that the items are freely available and that staff are always on hand to help those with them to have a smooth journey.
The lanyards and ticket holders can be worn or displayed to discreetly show that the wearer needs additional support, help or a little more time.
Nicole Elgram, Network Rail passenger assistance manager at Euston, said: “Many of our passengers who have non-visible disabilities choose to wear a sunflower lanyard to indicate to others that they may need a little more help and during the pandemic that they are unable to wear a mask. The sunflower tree is being displayed in our mobility assistance reception centre proudly decorated to raise awareness of the scheme.”
This year the Coronavirus pandemic has brought new challenges to the rail industry which have impacted both staff and passengers.
Wearing masks and social distancing have made travelling for those with non-visible disabilities especially challenging.
Network Rail has put in a range of measures so passengers needing assistance can be guided safely through the station in a Covid secure way.
Staff have access to visors, transparent face masks for hard of hearing, gloves and arm sleeves for visually impaired passengers.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the mobility assistance reception at Euston helped more than 80,000 passengers each year make their journeys through the station.
Sunflower lanyards and exemption cards are available in Network Rail managed stations.
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.