Sunflower Lanyard project to be rolled out in Cavan

The Cathaoirleach, Cllr Philip Brady (FF), is calling on Cavan County Council to raise more awareness around hidden disabilities. He discussed the matter through a notice of motion at this month’s meeting of the local authority. “I am calling for the rollout of the Sunflower Lanyard initiative in Co Cavan and throughout Ireland,” he explained.

The initiative provides a subtle way of indicating that someone has a hidden disability and may require some extra assistance. Lanyard badges are being produced, which, when worn, indicate that someone has a disability that may not be obvious.

Both councillors Áine Smith and Patricia Walsh then raised the conditions of Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia respectively. Both put forward the argument that these conditions can also be classed under hidden disabilities.

Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause severe pain in the pelvis and make it harder for women to get pregnant. The condition can last until menopause.

Fibromyalgia is described as an illness that comprises widespread musculoskeletal pain, accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood swings. Researchers believe that Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way in which the brain and spinal cord process painful and non painful signals.

Council executives told the meeting that registration for the Sunflower Lanyard initiative has been underway for weeks and is about to be rolled out in Co Cavan with registration “almost completed”.

Awareness training kits have been purchased and the local authority is expected to liaise with communities and the Disability Network in the coming weeks as part of a concerted effort to roll the initiative out across the county.