Vangarde Shopping Park is reinforcing its commitment to being an accessible shopping destination for those with disabilities by taking part in Purple Tuesday on 12 November.

Sunflower lanyards have been made available across the park as a discrete way of indicating that a wearer has a hidden disability – which could be autism, dementia, chronic pain, or anything else where they may need additional help or support.

The scheme is being rolled out across the retail park ahead of Purple Tuesday, an international day of action focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people.

Vangarde has distributed posters and information to all the shops and restaurants on site and is encouraging them to educate staff about what the sunflower lanyards mean.

Deb O’Donnell, Centre Manager, says: “We continually strive to improve the customer experience for every visitor at Vangarde, particularly those with additional needs.

“I am proud of all the team and staff at the park for getting involved and making sure everyone feels welcome and safe. I am sure the sunflower lanyards are going to make a huge difference.”

The lanyard scheme was first launched at Gatwick Airport in 2016 and was quickly adopted by other airports, supermarkets, sports venues and the NHS.

Sunflower lanyards can now be collected from the Vangarde Management Suite (next to Prezzo), M&S, TUI and at the customer service desk at John Lewis (first floor).