Helping Hand card scheme

The Helping Hand Scheme is designed to give our customers a helping hand when using our bus services; a simple way to help our drivers help you.

The credit card sized information card holds a brief written instruction for the driver that can be shown upon boarding the bus. The driver is made aware of the customer's needs or requirements quickly, directly and discreetly without the customer having to verbally communicate it.

Face covering - exemption support card

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering you may choose to carry or show a Helping Hand card, but this is not a requirement.

With the implementation of mandatory face coverings to be worn on public transport we currently have a backlog of Helping Hand applications to help those who are exempt. 

We are working through them as quickly as possible but if you would prefer not to wait we have uploaded a pdf that includes the message :

'Please be supportive. I’m exempt from wearing a face covering.'

and you can print your own.   You can also download the file to your phone, or screen shot it and show it to the driver when you board the bus.  

You can still apply for a Helping Hand card but it will take longer to arrive.

Download Helping Hand face covering exemption card here  

The scheme can be very helpful for hidden disabilities and many customers are now using the card off the bus; in taxis, shops and leisure establishments like the cinema.

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

The Helping Hand Scheme is administered by Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus in partnership with:

Southdown PSV, Compass Travel, Stagecoach, Big Lemon, Dementia Friendly Crawley, West Sussex County Council, Surrey County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council, Streamline Taxis and City Cabs Brighton.

Some examples:

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 hidden disabilities.

Some of our customers have extra special requirements such as a pushchair with oxygen or other medical equipment being carried.

For passengers who may wish to discreetly advise a staff member of a medical condition; helping to make them feel more confident when travelling.

We have some customers with hidden disabilities who require a priority seat. This has helped to advise the driver, although some customers have also advised fellow travellers by using the card.


For the driver to give blind or visually impaired customers advice of their next stop.

We provide further examples on our application form, although we will discuss with you personally your requirements, and create bespoke designs on request.

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 who suffer from conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's or dementia.

How to apply for Helping Hand

Applying is easy by clicking here (this link will take you through to the Brighton & Hove Bus Company website)

Or by ringing 01273 886200 where a customer service advisor will be happy to help and post out an application form.