SHOPPERS with hidden disabilities will be supported at Merry Hill as a new scheme launches today (Tuesday, November 12).

The shopping centre is backing Purple Tuesday, a day devoted to the needs of disabled shoppers, by introducing sunflower lanyards for shoppers to wear in case they need extra help.

Merry Hill is one of the first shopping centres in the country to introduce the lanyards, which are worn by shoppers with invisible conditions to discreetly signal to staff they may need support, such as getting access to a quiet space or close-by toilet facilities, due to conditions such as autism, dementia or diabetes.

The day will also see the launch of free sensory backpacks for autistic children, which include ear defenders, egg timers, sunglasses, fidget toys and an autism friendly guide to the centre.

Dan Murphy, centre director at intu Merry Hill, said: “We want to ensure that intu’s retail and leisure destinations are accessible and inclusive destinations for everyone. Nobody should feel excluded.”

“The measures we are introducing will help every visitor to feel welcome to enjoy a fantastic experience at intu Merry Hill.”

Alongside this, an quiet hours will continue to run every first Wednesday of the month from 10am.