Warrington Disability Partnership

Disability Awareness Day 2016 (DAD25)

In 1992, who would have thought that a small information event, held in Warrington for local disabled people, would grow to the size and stature associated with the internationally-recognised Disability Awareness Day.

This year sees the ‘25th Silver Anniversary event’, which has inspired people from all over the world and provided advice and support to 100,000’s of disabled people, their families, friends and carers.
More than 25,000 visitors are expected to attend DAD25 the world’s largest not-for-profit, voluntary-led, pan-disability exhibition, which will once again be hosted at Walton Hall Gardens on Sunday, 10 July with the support of principal sponsor Your Housing Group.
Kathy Cowell, Chair of Your Housing Group, said: “Your Housing Group is extremely proud to again be the principal sponsor of Disability Awareness Day, particularly as this year is their 25th anniversary! It is always a fantastic event and I’m sure this year will be another memorable, fun-filled community event for everyone.”
A huge tented village housing over 250 exhibitors - including equipment suppliers; transport; holidays; leisure and employment providers; and support groups and services - is set to inspire visitors to travel from all over the UK and beyond. New exhibitors for 2016 include ‘Speed of Sight’, a charity provide a new experience for people with disabilities, in the form of motor sport. Their founder is Mike Newman, 6 times Guinness World Record holder. Mike is the fastest blind man on the planet on land and water.
Inclusive arts is just one of the highlights of the event - with disabled performers including Carly Ryan, Ella Together Performance Group and the Warrington BSL Signing Choir. DAD 25 will also see the return of the Main Arena; which will provide family entertainment for all; including dance troupes, guide dog display teams and falconry displays.
Also on-site will be the fully accessible, inclusive — and outdoor — Sports Zone, which is supported by Active Cheshire. This will boast an impressive assortment of activities including Scuba Try Dives provided by Cheshire Scuba Academy, wheelchair basketball from our team of WDP volunteers, small bore rifle shooting; new age curling; Martial Arts, accessible rugby and dance with Warrington Wolves Community Foundation and golf - courtesy of Sutton Hall Golf Club.
The free, accessible park and ride service at Wilderspool Park; free bus service every 30 minutes from 10am from Warrington Bus Interchange; British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters; trained assistants; and a scooter / wheelchair loans service promises to ensure DAD25 is fully inclusive to all.
“The back-story to DAD is a great example of just how far a ‘can do’ attitude can take you,” says Event Founder and Co-ordinator, Dave Thompson MBE DL.
‘What started out in 1992 as a one-off event is now the highlight of the international disabled community’s calendar — inspiring similar events as far afield as India and Cameroon! For 2016, the team at the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Uganda (CDR-Uganda) are planning their first DAD event in July and have been working closely with the team in Warrington.
‘There is no greater satisfaction for me than seeing ‘DAD’s Army’ of volunteers coming together to support people to enjoy and access our week-long programme of events - all of which are about awareness-raising, celebrating diversity and promoting independent living. Thanks to the support of our sponsors — including principal sponsor Your Housing Group - there is something for everyone during ‘DAD Week’ and I urge people of all ages to take the opportunity to join us at Walton Hall Gardens — especially as the weather forecast is looking good!”
The big day - which will take place on Sunday 10th July from 10am to 5pm - will be a fitting finale to a week comprising a variety of complementary events to savour, which are guaranteed to attract many more visitors.
The sheer number and variety of events ‘DAD Week’ has on offer is further proof that this event continues to grow in size and stature year after year.
For more details on DAD and ‘DAD Week’ and all the events listed, please contact Warrington Disability Partnership on 01925 240064 or visit www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk
Tickets can be purchased online by visiting

Sunday, 10 July - Walton Hall Gardens