The O2 London is the first UK arena to become a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, along with its catering partner Levy UK + Ireland, and security provider G4S, who have also become members, thereby ensuring a fully accessible visitor journey throughout the building.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower was launched in 2016 “to encourage inclusivity, acceptance and understanding for those with disabilities, conditions or chronic illnesses that are not immediately obvious to others,” according to a press release.
“Having been proud supporters of the Sunflower since 2020, The O2 will continue to work closely with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to support visitors living with non-visible disabilities, through awareness-raising initiatives and regular staff training,” it continues.
Jay Bourley, head of guest experience of The O2, said, “We’re so proud to be members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, and to be the first UK arena to do so. Ensuring the accessibility of The O2 for our visitors, staff and artists is of paramount importance to us, and through our membership we will be able to provide those individuals with the support they need. Ultimately our visitors come here to be entertained, and we want that experience to be as seamless as possible from the minute they walk through the door – the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a key component in making that happen, and we look forward to working closely with the team there to ensure we continue evolving our staff training and onsite facilities so that we remain best in class, always.”
Visitors to The O2 who wish to voluntarily show that they have a hidden disability, can head to the venue’s Guest Services desk to collect a Sunflower lanyard or pin that they can wear on their visit.
Paul White, CEO at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, added, “The O2 is an iconic London venue, and we are delighted that visitors with non-visible disabilities will be able to pick up a Sunflower lanyard and be met with an offer of support, understanding and patience from staff. The venue hosts world-acclaimed performers and entertainers, as well as being a shopping destination and visitor attraction. Sunflower wearers can continue to enjoy all that The O2 has to offer because the visitor experience has become more inclusive and Sunflower friendly.”
Accessibility is one of the core principles that sits under The O2’s wider CSR platform, Good Vibes All Round – an initiative established to underpin the venue’s work across four key pillars: sustainability, accessibility, charity, and community. This membership is just one of the steps The O2 is taking to make the venue truly accessible to all, in addition to the venue recently launching Sensory Bags, designed to help stimulate and engage users with sensory sensitivities.