Sunday, 16 July – Walton Hall Gardens

In 1992, who would have thought that a small information event, held in Warrington for local disabled people, would grow in size and stature, and would influence the development of an internationally-recognised Disability Awareness Day.  This year sees the ‘26th 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 this year’s DAD, the world’s largest not-for-profit, voluntary-led, pan-disability exhibition, which will once again be hosted at Walton Hall Gardens on Sunday, 16 July with the support of joint principal sponsors St George Healthcare Group and St Mark Universal Copts Care.

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 attract visitors to travel from all over the UK and beyond.

Inclusive Arts is just one of the highlights of the event – with a number of disabled artists including nationally recognised performers. The Main Arena will offer visitors a range of family entertainment including guide dog display teams, falconry displays and the ever popular Katumba samba band. Also on-site will be the fully accessible Sports Zone.

A free, accessible Park and Ride service is available from 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 DAD is fully inclusive to all.

Event Founder and Co-ordinator, Dave Thompson MBE DL, said:

“The background story to DAD is a great example of just how far a ‘can do’ attitude can take you.

“What started out as a one-off event is now the highlight of the international disabled community’s calendar – inspiring similar events as far afield as India, Cameroon, Uganda and Gibraltar. Our team is also working closely with St Mark Universal Copts Care teams based in the UK and working in Egypt and Sudan.”

The big day on Sunday 16 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.

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.