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Disability Awareness Day 2016 - Sunday 10th July

In 1992, who would have thought that a small information event, held in Warrington for local disabled people, would grow to the size and stature associated with the internationally-recognised Disability Awareness Day. This year sees the ‘25th Silver 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 DAD25 the world’s largest not-for-profit, voluntary-led, pan-disability exhibition, which will once again be hosted at Walton Hall Gardens on Sunday, 10 July with the support of principal sponsor Your Housing Group.

Kathy Cowell, Chair of Your Housing Group, said: “Your Housing Group is extremely proud to again be the principal sponsor of Disability Awareness Day, particularly as this year is their 25th anniversary! It is always a fantastic event and I’m sure this year will be another memorable, fun-filled community event for everyone.”

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 inspire visitors to travel from all over the UK and beyond. New exhibitors for 2016 include ‘Speed of Sight’, a charity provide a new experience for people with disabilities, in the form of motor sport. Their founder is Mike Newman, 6 times Guinness World Record holder. Mike is the fastest blind man on the planet on land and water.

Inclusive arts is just one of the highlights of the event – with disabled performers including Carly Ryan, Ella Together Performance Group and the Warrington BSL Signing Choir. DAD 25 will also see the return of the Main Arena; which will provide family entertainment for all; including dance troupes, guide dog display teams and falconry displays.

Also on-site will be the fully accessible, inclusive – and outdoor – Sports Zone, which is supported by Active Cheshire. This will boast an impressive assortment of activities including Scuba Try Dives provided by Cheshire Scuba Academy, wheelchair basketball from our team of WDP volunteers, small bore rifle shooting; new age curling; Martial Arts, accessible rugby and dance with Warrington Wolves Community Foundation and golf – courtesy of Sutton Hall Golf Club.

The free, accessible park and ride service at 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 DAD25 is fully inclusive to all.

“The back-story to DAD is a great example of just how far a ‘can do’ attitude can take you,” says Event Founder and Co-ordinator, Dave Thompson MBE DL.

‘What started out in 1992 as a one-off event is now the highlight of the international disabled community’s calendar – inspiring similar events as far afield as India and Cameroon! For 2016, the team at the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Uganda (CDR-Uganda) are planning their first DAD event in July and have been working closely with the team in Warrington.

‘There is no greater satisfaction for me than seeing ‘DAD’s Army’ of volunteers coming together to support people to enjoy and access our week-long programme of events – all of which are about awareness-raising, celebrating diversity and promoting independent living. Thanks to the support of our sponsors – including principal sponsor Your Housing Group – there is something for everyone during ‘DAD Week’ and I urge people of all ages to take the opportunity to join us at Walton Hall Gardens – especially as the weather forecast is looking good!”

The big day – which will take place on Sunday 10th 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.

The sheer number and variety of events ‘DAD Week’ has on offer is further proof that this event continues to grow in size and stature year after year.

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

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting

(NB all events from Tuesday 5th July will take place at Walton Hall & Gardens).

Saturday, 2 July – 10.30am to 4.30pm
Launch of DAD25

An arts showcase – which will be held at Golden Square in Warrington Town Centre – will mark the launch of a week of disability-related events in the build-up to this year’s big day. The launch will feature some of the UK’s top disabled artists and friends of DAD. Admission is free of charge.

Tuesday, 5 July – 9.30am to 12.30pm
Schools Disability Matters Schools Event
Students from schools across the area will attend our annual interactive awareness event aimed at dispelling myths and misconceptions associated with disability and disabled people. Invitation only; contact Derek Jones on 01925 240064.

Tuesday, 5 July – 1.00pm to 3.00pm
Wise Up Event

Schools Event – making young people aware of Hate Crime and bullying.
Walton Hall, Walton Gardens For further details, contact Pip Horne, Warrington Speak Up, on 01925 246938, www.warringtonspeakup.org.uk

Tuesday, 5 July – 7.00pm to 10.00pm
Frogtastic in the Park

Featuring 2 fantastic Tribute Artists – Rod Stewart & Amy Whitehouse, as well as special guests including BBC’s Autistic Super Star – Carly Ryan and the Frogtastic DJ’s. The event is aimed at people who have learning disabilities, their families and friends featuring Live Music, a Dance Floor and Licenced Bar. Please bring your own food Advanced & Pre-Reserved Tickets are available for just £4.00 (£5.00 on the gate) from The Heroes Project on 0161 872 8787 or contact Janis Williams on 01925 240064.

Wednesday, 6 July – 10.30am to 3.30pm
Ignite Your Life – Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshops and Exhibition (Arts Marquee)
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust invites you to join them for a day of workshops and activities; advice and information from local support services; complimentary therapies; healthy eating; art; crafts; and sports. Admission is free. Contact Katherine Earlam on 01925 664450.

Wednesday, 6 July – 7.00pm-10.00pm
“Mayor of Warrington’s – Evening of Cultural Diversity” (Arts Marquee)
The event celebrates an array of cultures and nationalities from Asia, Africa and Europe, helping to strengthen the community bond. Visitors will be treated to live music; including a Coptic Christian Choir, stage performances as well as traditional and contemporary dance. With an impressive line-up of children’s and adult’s entertainments and a chance to sample different cuisine. (£10 per ticket). Contact Julia on 01925 442143

Thursday, 7 July – 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Carers Tea Party in the Park – Wired Carers

A vintage afternoon tea party with music and dance, for older people, their families and carers. For more details and booking contact Deb Fitzsimmons 01925 633492

Thursday, 7 July – 5.00pm to 7.00pm
Children’s Party in the Park

A partnership of local children and young people’s support groups present a fun-filled evening for disabled children, disabled young people, their families and friends. Activities include arts, dance and sports – plus chill-out and fun areas. Contact Stacey King on 01925 240064.

Thursday, 7 July – 8pm to 10.30pm
Concert in the Park Wingates Brass Band (Arts Marquee)
Forget military marches, hymn tunes and dirges. Visitors are promised an evening of pure entertainment. These days a typical Wingates concert is an amalgam of superb arrangements of pop classics by the likes of The Beatles and Queen plus much-loved music from stage and screen. We’re guaranteeing thoroughly entertaining foot-tapping stuff.

The evening’s entertainment begins at 8pm with two 50-minute sets planned before 10.30pm. Tickets are just £10 and visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drink with them, or to use the licensed bar. For more details and booking tickets, contact Janis Williams on 01925 240064 or buy tickets online here.

Friday, 8 July – 7.30pm to 11.30pm
DAD Mega BBQ, Quiz and Charity Auction (Arts Marquee)
If you fancy a night of fabulous food, hundreds of pounds worth of prizes, a fun quiz (teams of up to eight people), a licensed bar and a charity auction, don’t miss the DAD Mega BBQ, Quiz and Charity Auction – the perfect precursor to DAD 2016. Admission is by ticket only (£8), which includes the barbecue. For more details and booking tickets, contact Janis Williams on 01925 240064 or buy tickets online here.