Warrington Disability Partnership

Market 'Thank you' Party for Dave

Commemorating a special surprise for WDP founder and Chief Executive, Dave Thompson MBE DL.

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations, staff and volunteers on the our Disability Information Desk, located at the rear of Warrington Market, organised a surprise for our founder and Chief Executive, Dave Thompson MBE DL

Last Saturday, Dave was convinced he was simply joining other WDP volunteers on their tombola at the front of the market. When he arrived - to his surprise - he was the special guest at a ‘thank you’ party. Dave’s wife Pam was in on the secret plans - ensuring they arrived at exactly the right time.

Dave said: “More than 100 people were already seated and standing when we arrived. I thought it was a market event until I saw a huge 8ft x 4ft board with a picture taken at the Dallam Day Centre back in 1991. It wasn’t until then that I had any idea what was happening.”

The Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington were there, together with other invited guests including WDP’s Chairman John Gartside OBE DL, the Chairman of 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - Bernard Pilkington, and the recently announced Freeman of Warrington, Reverend Stephen Kingsnorth.

Several members of staff and volunteers paid tribute to Dave and the hard work he, his wife Pam and fellow founders Eric James and Alan Shaw, did during the early development of the charity, which today has a positive impact on the lives of disabled people across the world.

Guests were entertained by performances from the Warrington British Sign Language (BSL) Signing Choir and Ella - the Runcorn-based performing arts group (of which Dave is a Trustee/Director). WDP volunteer Sheila Aston read out a poem she wrote about Dave and the charity, and she handed him a framed copy.

At the close of the event, Dave thanked everyone for the very nice surprise. He paid tribute to the team at WDP including volunteers, staff and trustees. He singled out Eric James for his extra-special efforts - staffing the market stall six days per week for more than 10 years, and for his work in helping to develop Shopmobility. Dave also said a special ‘thank you’ to the 27 members who have sadly passed away since the launch of WDP back in 1991, whose names will be etched on a newly-announced Wall of Remembrance.

The last few places are remaining for our 'Going the Extra Mile' sponsored swim that will be held this Saturday, 12 March at LiveWire's Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub. If you want to join in, please contact Janis on 01925 240064 or donate online at www.justgiving.com/wdpswim16/

Don’t forget, anyone can raise funds for our 2016 Legacy Appeal. If you, your family or your friends and colleagues are doing something that little bit different, please let us know and we can celebrate your contribution in a future Legacy Appeal news round-up. Finally, our 25th Anniversary collection boxes are available from any WDP service.