Supporting those with hidden disabilities …

We are in very challenging times. Wearing face coverings is not the norm. But despite all of the uncertainty, one thing is a definite: people who are unable to wear a mask should not be judged.

We are delighted to be able to share some important information from Alison and Richie Etheridge at Toby’s Magical Journey on Bonnygate on how they are helping those who are most in need …

Throughout the lockdown – and as restrictions have been removed – CuparNow has shared many updates on Covid-19 related news and information to help support businesses, organisations and residents. At the forefront has been the need to provide help for the most vulnerable in our community.

We are aware that some are feeling very anxious about the easing of restrictions. Richie contacted us with one instance where he was aware of a shopper who had been very concerned about returning to the town. Richie explains: “He visited us in quite a state as he was trying to wear a mask even though he is exempt. He had been referred to us by one of our volunteers who works in the town.

Hidden disabilities are very real: someone who is not wearing a mask or face covering could be undergoing treatment, recovering from an illness or may well have underlying health issues that make them exempt: to help, Toby’s Magical Journey sells a range of Hidden Disabilities items, part of the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme – assisting adults and children.

Alison says: “Not wearing a mask is not an action which is taken likely.” She adds: “We do not discriminate against anyone who enters our premises – and we know the vast majority will be the same. We just want to raise awareness and urge all shop keepers and local businesses to be kind and supportive – and if they need help, we can provide it. Everyone should be treated the same – with or without a face covering.

Richie says: “We were able to help the gentleman concerned. He purchased a lanyard, badge and plastic wallet – all for just 1.97. That’s the same price as online but without any postage cost.

Alison says: “The last thing we want is anyone is our community feeling they have to remain isolated because of the way someone might react if they are not wearing a mask or covering. The Sunflower lanyards, wrist bands and ribbons are becoming well used across the country. They are a symbol to help those in business not only recognise but also understand that we are all uniquely different, but that we should all be treated the same.


You will find Toby’s Magical Journey at 126 Bonnygate.

Call them on 07478875574 or visit their Facebook page for more.


Download your welcome poster here.

Just click on the image to open a link that will enable you to download and print off your Hidden Disabilities welcome poster.


Thanks for reading – and thank you to Alison & Richie.