Sunflower Power: Boots UK supports Hidden Disabilities scheme at COVID-19 vaccination sites

15 February 2021

There’s always more to a person than meets the eye. This is especially true for people with disabilities that might not be immediately visible. Autism, chronic pain, dementia, and visual or hearing impairments are just a few of the conditions, which, although not always obvious, can cause significant challenges during everyday life.

Following the rollout of 11* COVID-19 vaccinations sites in Boots stores across the UK, its dedicated pharmacy teams are helping to make the vaccination process as easy and as comfortable as possible for everyone coming into store by proudly supporting the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

Helping to make the invisible, visible, the Sunflower allows people to discreetly indicate that they have a hidden disability by showing an easily recognisable Sunflower lanyard. As part of the scheme, Boots colleagues have received special training to ensure they can provide the understanding, patience, and support needed.

People with hidden disabilities could experience significant challenges during the vaccination process, ranging from anxiety and not being able to stand for long periods of time, to having limited access to toilet facilities. However, the power of the lanyards, combined with the kindness and professionalism of Boots colleagues can help support them through the process.

Paul White, CEO, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said: “We are delighted that Boots UK have joined the Sunflower and are delivering our training to staff across all their 11 vaccination hubs. Receiving the vaccine is a positive step forward in the pandemic but it can also be a challenging experience for many people that have a hidden disability. Sunflower wearers will now feel reassured when they attend their appointment that they will be supported.”

Mae Hughes, Immunisation Assistant at Boots Gloucester store and a colleague who’s received the Sunflower training, said: “I am proud to be able to support the scheme through Boots. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is close to my heart and important on a personal level, as I have family members living with hidden disabilities.

“The Sunflower is vital in ensuring everyone feels comfortable and supported. Members of the public that have come to us, displaying the Sunflower, have been grateful that we’re doing our bit to make their experience the best it can be.”

* List of Boots UK stores currently supporting the scheme

  • Bristol Cribbs Causeway
  • Chatham Pentagon Centre
  • Chester Foregate Street
  • Dartford Bluewater
  • Gloucester Eastgate Street
  • Halifax Market Street
  • Huddersfield King Street
  • Liverpool New Mersey Retail Park
  • Southampton West Quay
  • Southport Chapel Street
  • Taunton High Street