The countdown is on for this year’s Disability Awareness Day or DAD as it is affectionately known. On Sunday 13th July a huge tented village set in the grounds of the grand settings of Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington Cheshire (off A56) will be the location for the world’s largest ‘voluntary led’ pan disability independent living extravaganza.
Over the years DAD has inspired individuals and groups across the UK and the World to set up similar celebratory events including a DAD Gibraltar, India, Cameroon, Denmark, Sweden and closer to home in North Wales, Leigh, Shropshire and Cornwall.
With an expected 250 exhibitors, and over 25,000 visitors expected to travel to Warrington from across the UK and beyond, DAD will be the finale of a week consisting of 12 complementary events that will attract thousands more visitors.
Dave Thompson MBE DL founder and event co-ordinator said: “The DAD Team were really pleased and somewhat relieved when we heard the news that Your Housing Group had agreed to extend their financial support for another year as our principal sponsor”. Dave added: “We all understand how difficult it is to continue to raise sponsorship in the current economic climate and without the level of support that they have pledged the event would have been cancelled”.
Brian Cronin said: “Your Housing Group is enormously proud to be the headline sponsor of the Disability Awareness Day. This fantastic event is not only a wonderful day out but a unique opportunity to showcase the achievements and talents of disabled people. It also offered Your Housing Group the chance to show the work we are doing across the group on Welfare Reform. There are some big changes that directly affect many people with disabilities and our team are able to talk to visitors about their concerns and direct them to the right help and advice.”
Inclusive Arts is just one of the highlights of the event with disabled performers including Carly and Martin from the BBC’s Autistic Superstars, plus Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists The Urban Gypsies and an exhibition of Artwork produced by disabled artists.
This year’s Sports Zone will include archery, rifle shooting, climbing wall, wheelchair basketball, golf and scuba diving, with the opportunity to do a taster dive in the onsite temporary swimming pool. Children and families won’t be stuck for things to do with entertainers and a funfair.
Free accessible Park & Ride service and free bus from Warrington Bus Interchange, British Sign Language Interpreters, a scooter and wheelchair loans service and trained assistants ensure an inclusive event.
Dave Thompson said: “Overall DAD focusses on what disabled people can do, not what we can’t do, and it proves to be a great day out for everyone.”
For more details visit www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk or call the DAD Office on 01925 240064.