Disability Awareness Day (VIRTUAL)
Sunday 25th October 2020
Hello and welcome to DAD 2019, our 28th annual event.
Huge thanks to Expanse Learning Group and Harry Fairclough Construction for their support as our new joint Principal Sponsors for this year’s event, and St Mark Universal Copts Care, for their support as Prime Sponsors of our DAD Week events and Arts Marquee.
Next, it's thank you to all of our Corporate Supporters for their financial and in-kind donations. And a big thank you to members of our DAD Management Team, who have worked tirelessly for the past twelve months in preparation of this year's events.
This year's DAD came at the end of a busy week of ten complimentary events, which started on Monday 8th at Walton Hall and Gardens launching a fun packed and informative week. None of which would have been possible without the support of our partners: local Schools, the Manchester based Heroes Project, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Ella Performance Group, Together Warrington, Warrington Wolves Foundation, Warrington and Halton Clinical Commissioning Groups, Job Centre Plus and our great team, both on site at Walton Hall and Gardens and back in the office at the Centre for Independent Living.
Visitors to this year’s main event will have lots to choose from with over 200 exhibitors from charities, statutory service providers and businesses, a Sports Zone packed with have-a-go events, an Arts Marquee hosting some of the UK’s top disabled artists, a Main Arena and children’s entertainments.
Our local event here in Warrington continues to inspire disability related events around the world. This year's partners including Closing the Gap a user led organisation in Cameroon who have an amazing leader Takang Aya Ayuk who has been in constant contact via WhatsApp, the MESSAGE Institute from India, 1 Step – 2 Step charity based in Thailand and the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation in Uganda.
I'm proud to say that during the past twenty-seven years we have created, what has become, not only Warrington’s largest community event, but the world’s largest voluntary led pan disability event which promotes a "can do" culture focussing on what disabled people can do which helps to dispels the myths about what disabled people can't do. Exciting news, 8 weeks before this year's event, we held a meeting with one of our strategic partners, to discuss plans for DAD29 and DAD30. Both will include themed events promoting the 2021 Rugby League World Cup that will be held here in the UK, with three games in Warrington, as well as Physical Disability and Learning Disability matches. We certainly didn’t expect to be doing that back in 1992...
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who shares and supports the DAD dream, and special thanks to our volunteer stewards and helpers aptly named DAD’s Army, our exhibitors and of course you, our visitors. We hope you have an enjoyable, informative and inspiring day at DAD 2019. Thank you.
Dave Thompson MBE DL MBA
Founder and Event Co-ordinator