Compassionate Isle of Man lead, presented at international conference; NACIC2021

Hospice Isle of Man are delighted to announce that a collaboration of Hospice, Compassionate Isle of Man Network and Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme has received recognition through  the international conference; NACIC2021 (1st North American Conference on Integrated Care). Their work on making the invisible, visible aims to help people feel more connected to their community and people around them.

The 1st North American Conference on Integrated Care in association with the 6th World Congress on Integrated Care ran as a virtual conference in partnership with the University of Toronto, KPMG Canada, HSPN and iCOACH from 4 – 7 October 2021.

The presentation by Compassionate Isle of Man project lead; Wendy Smith focussed on the work that has been undertaken around the Hidden Disability Sunflower

The scheme was launched in 2016 at Gatwick Airport. The lanyards were first introduced to UK airports as a means of supporting travellers whose transfer through local airports were disrupted by or made more challenging due to their disability. Charities and organisations were then approached to learn how they could make airports more accessible to everyone. The lanyards were then born which is a discreet way to indicate that a person has a hidden disability.

Wendy Smith adopted the scheme and has promoted it across the Island to help the Isle of Man become the first sunflower-friendly Island. Over 200 organisations and individuals attended one of the three training programmes. Additional charities have adopted the sunflowers to support the community, Dental surgeries and optician have received information, and Manx Utilities have undergone training for those involved in the change overs to SMART meters. The long-term cultural and social impact on the community is looking promising due to the great response that has been achieved so far, and the hope is that this has created island-wide awareness of hidden disabilities.

At the NACIC2021, the overarching theme is ‘Co-designing for health and wellbeing with individuals and communities’, a perfect fit with the Hidden Disability Sunflower initiative. The conference brought together leaders, researchers, clinicians, managers, citizens, patients and caregivers from around the world who are engaged in the design and delivery of integrated health and social care.

Anne Mills, Chief Executive of Hospice said, “This is a huge achievement to share this work globally and clearly demonstrates that Hospice Isle of man is at the forefront of global improvement for people with hidden disabilities.”

Back to top image