Warrington Disability Partnership

Appreciation of Efforts Awards

Warrington Disability Partnership's annual Appreciation of Efforts awards recently took place, giving the charity the opportunity to recognise volunteers and other individuals and organisations who have made outstanding contributions towards improving the lives of local disabled people over the last year.

The 26th Appreciation of Efforts Awards took place at the Annual General Meeting which this year had to take place virtually by Zoom meeting, due to the ongoing lockdown. Despite the restrictions, the meeting was very well attended by staff, volunteers and trustees. With so many difficulties and losses over what should have been a year of celebration, it would have been easy to write off the year. Instead the AGM celebrated the many positive achievements of WDP and its Social Enterprise DTC, including the continued provision and development of much needed services for local disabled people.

The Appreciation of Efforts Awards were open to the public to nominate individuals and organisations who they felt had gone the extra mile to improve the lives of local disabled people. The winners were awarded by a very special guest, the High Sherriff of Cheshire Nick (Hoppy) Hopkinson MBE DL to the following winners:
Walton Hall and Gardens for going above and beyond what is expected of them by ensuring that the pride of Warrington’s open spaces would not only remain fully accessible but unlike all other areas, their changing places toilet facilities remain open. This has allowed disabled people to escape their homes and access green spaces during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Good Guys Group - This team has been there from day one putting vulnerable and disabled people before their own well-being and supporting people through the COVID-19 Pandemic and the recent floods. During the last 10 months, they have made sure people have had food, heating, lighting, medical supplies, lifts for important appointments and sometimes when needed just simply someone to listen.

Jenny Allcock and Creating Adventures for continuing to provide Zumba, choir, Friday Night Social party, chat groups, quiz's and more for adults with additional needs and Autism throughout all the lockdowns in the past year. They also provided Christmas presents and a Christmas Zoom party and also surprise Coping Boxes with gifts to occupy and entertain the members. Their membership has grown over lockdown with many new members enjoying the activities.

Amanda Gillespie and her team at The Roy Humphreys Centre for going the extra mile and more during the COVID-19 Pandemic. While supplying local vulnerable, disabled and elderly residents with two hot meals a week along with everyday food items, they also checked to make sure that the residents had no other issues. They also supplied frontline key workers with free breakfast barms and drinks and provided valuable services that the local residents couldn’t do without.

Phil Atkinson and the team from 4wardfutures for giving WDP hope, when all looked lost for holding their 29th anniversary of Disability Awareness Day. The team worked day and night, to create what the disability world has heralded as “ground breaking”. DAD Virtual attracted some of the biggest names in the disability industry, including overseas organisations. The website provides visitors with an authentic feel of being at Walton Gardens, inside the marquees visitors can browse the hundreds of exhibition stands and interact with the organisations gaining valuable and life changing information, advice and guidance.

Ellen Houghton, Ellie Thompson and Chloe Thompson for their amazing efforts over the last year in fundraising, baking for Cake Wednesday throughout COVID-19 and volunteering across the services. Ellen & Ellie are involved with WDP’s Your Voice Group for young disabled people, and Ellen was also recently co-opted onto the WDP Board as a Young Trustee.

Andrea Machin from Families United and Warrington Parents and Carers for her services as trustee of a family support charity for nearly 15 years and Chair for the past 8 years. She has committed many hours of her own time to the running of the charity including arranging and running events for the members, contributing to fundraising and leading the committee. She has also taken a lead role in the development of Warrington Play and Sensory Centre, which has been a fantastic resource for the families of many disabled children.

Team WDP for their COVID-19 response. Breaking with tradition, the judges felt it only right and proper that this team should receive an award this year. Their response to continuing to support vulnerable people was nothing short of outstanding, continuing to deliver life changing services wherever they could, at a time when nobody would have question them if they had followed similar charities in closing their doors until after the pandemic passed. They have provided support, both physical and emotional, to all those in need as well as continuing to offer as many of their services as possible under extremely difficult and challenging circumstances, despite their own personal issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event ended with an opportunity to look forward to future developments for Warrington Disability Partnership and the Disability Trading Company. The intention was stated to come back even stronger after COVID-19 by developing and strengthening partnerships and services to provide the most effective support for local disabled people. The 30th Anniversary celebrations are in progress with many people already committing to individual and team activities to raise funds to support the charity’s “Rocking Around the World 24901 Mile Challenge”.