Warrington Disability Partnership

Disability Awareness Day International

There's one export from Warrington that you've probably never heard about. Since its humble beginnings back in 1992, Warrington Disability Partnership's Disability Awareness Day (DAD) has attracted attention, not just locally, but also regionally, nationally and internationally.

King Charles once said to founder Dave Thompson MBE DL “I am led to believe that Disability Awareness Day in Warrington is the largest event of its type in the world”. Which isn’t surprising as our local DAD now spans a full week, with a range of complementary events, cumulating in Sunday’s big day that attracts over 20,000 visitors and over 200 exhibitors from across the country.

DAD Facts:

Over 600,000 people have attended DAD events here in Warrington, and tens of thousands elsewhere
Over £1million has been raised for other charities involved in Disability Awareness Day events
Each year DAD events involve over 130 volunteers. Steps walked by DAD stewards and organizing team total over 53,172,500 which equates to 26,856 miles or more than once around the world.

Dave said, “During the past 31 years we have received hundreds of contacts from individuals and organisations from across the world interested in organising events to celebrate Disability Awareness Day”.

This has resulted in the development of hundreds of events, stemming from businesses raising awareness to their staff, small seminars with guest speakers talking about disability matters, small to medium sized disability sports days, human rights and information days, through to exhibitions similar to ours.

2014 saw an even greater level of world-wide interest in International Disability Awareness Day after interest from the BBC and ITV, regional and national radio stations, The Guardian newspaper and several leading disability magazines. As a result, international references to Disability Awareness Day could be found on the websites of organisations in India, Cameroon, Mexico, and America. This prompted the team at WDP to set up this section of our website to collect and share activity that individuals and organisations are planning for the International Day of Disability Awareness.

Feedback has been received from:

DAD Gibraltar — Operated by the social services and health services.
DAD India — The MESSAGE Institute based in Jaipur.
DAD Cameroon — Closing the Gap, BASSED IN Kumba.
DAD Uganda — Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation.
DAD Egypt and DAD Sudan — St Mark's Universal Care based in Cairo.
DAD Thailand — 1 Step 2 Step, an international aid charity supporting disabled children’s homes.
Plus other events in Sweden, Demark, USA, France and Dubai.

During the past 8 years, Dave’s team at WDP have developed a strong bond with Takang Aya Ayuk, Co-ordinator of DAD Cameroon. Each year WDP raise funds to support the Cameroon events. This year Takang and his team organised several disability sports events and an information and human rights event that involved hundreds of disabled people and local government leaders. Their events were covered by the Cameroon national newspapers and TV news channels. All referenced the support given by Dave, WDP and the people of Warrington.

Warrington has a proud history of exporting goods produced in our town. Now we can add to them with Disability Awareness Day, an event developed here in Warrington and now helping to change lives of disabled people across the globe.

If you want to hear how your business can help (financially or volunteer support) with next year’s 33rd annual Disability Awareness Day (14th July 2024), contact Dave on 01925 240064 or email davethompson@disabilitypartnership.org.uk

Visit the DAD website www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk