Helping Hand assistance card

Recite Me: accessibility and language support is at the top right of the page. 

Helping Hand is an award winning assistance card scheme providing bus users with a way to discreetly and directly advise of any assistance they may require. The card can be particularly helpful for customers with non-visible disabilities.

The yellow assistance card holds a brief written instruction that can be shown upon boarding the bus. The driver is immediately made aware of the customer's needs or requirements without the customer having to verbally communicate it. Some users also use Helping Hand to update fellow passengers of their requirements. For example one user, Becky, uses the 'Priority Seating Required' card as it help he more confidently travel and share that she requires a priority seat.

The service user led scheme is now being used off the bus as well as - in taxis, shops and leisure establishments like the cinema.

For example, "Please face me I lip read" can help anywhere at any time.

We have examples of some of the Helping Hand cards that are available further down the page as well as other examples on the application form. We can also design, with you, a bespoke card which may better suit your requirements. 

How to apply for a Helping Hand card

Applying is easy either:

  • Fill in an application form here - this option allows you to browse and pick your card.
  • Ring us on 01273 886200
  • Email us at [email protected]
  • SMS us on 07583 051915
  • Or drop into one of our travel shops and speak with one of our advisors who can then arrange a card.

For more information, our customer service team are happy to help. Contact information, including opening times, can be found here. 

Becky and Graham have a Helping Hand card. Read here their own experiences of using a card.

Some examples of other cards available are below 

Please wait until seated

For the customer that may need time to find a seat in priority seating before the driver pulls away. This is very helpful for customers with non-visible disabilities. 

Pushchair can't be folded This card is helpful for customers who have extra special requirements such as a pushchair with oxygen or other medical equipment being carried.
I have epilepsy For passengers who may wish to discreetly advise a staff member of a medical condition; helping to make them feel more confident when travelling.
Priority seating required This card is particularly helpful for customers with non-visible disabilities. This has helped to advise the driver, although some customers have also advised fellow travellers by using the card.
Reverse of card The reverse of the card can display, if required, the customer's name and emergency contact number. This is optional, but it can offer assurance and instil confidence, that if needed, someone they know can be called upon for help. This is especially relevant for customers living with epilepsy, Alzheimer's r dementia.

Organisations that helped us create Helping Hand

Helping Hand was designed by those people who use the services provided by the charities listed below. We spoke to them directly. They influenced the final colour, overall design and - of course - the wording on the cards.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the following organisations - without whom the award-winning Helping Hand would not exist.

Grace Eyre

RNID (formally Action on Hearing Loss) 

Guide Dogs (Brighton & Maidstone)

Possability People

The Helping Hand scheme is a Go-Ahead Group initiative and within the Brighton & Hove and Metrobus area the below organisations are also involved in the scheme:

  • Streamline Taxis
  • City Cabs Brighton
  • Dementia Friendly Crawley
  • East Sussex County Council
  • Southdown
  • The Big Lemon
  • Compass Bus
  • Stagecoach
  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Surrey County Council
  • West Sussex County Council