OVERCAST skies and rain soon cleared to make way for glorious sunshine as thousands of people flocked to the annual Disability Awareness Day at Walton Gardens, Warrington.
Town Crier Peter Powell officially opened the 26th consecutive event, which has now become the largest voluntary led disability awarenes event of its kind in the world.
The annual event 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.
Founder Dave Thompson MBE DL, was quick to thank the support of joint principal sponsors St George Healthcare Group and St Mark Universal Cots Care and the numerous other community sponsors who help enure the event takes place each year.
“Without the support of our many sponsors we simply could not stage this event,” said Dave.
A huge tented village housing over 250 exhibitors – including equipment suppliers; transport; holidays; leisure and employment providers; and support groups and services attracted visitors to travel from all over the UK and beyond.
Inclusive Arts was just one of the highlights of the event – with a number of disabled artists including nationally recognised performers.
The Main Arena offered visitors a range of family entertainment including guide dog display teams, falconry displays and the ever popular Katumba samba band. Also on-site was the fully accessible Sports Zone.
Dave added: ““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’.
Planning will start this coming week on next year’s event. Anyone interested in getting involved please contact Warrington Disability Partnership on 01925 240064 or visit www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk
warrington-worldwide was on hand to broadcast live from the event – see some of the highlights below.