Pictures Paul Jackson & John Hopkins
The annual Disability Awareness Day was back for its 30th-anniversary event and crowds flocked to the exhibition held at Walton Hall
Disability Awareness Day (“DAD”) is the world’s largest ‘not for profit’ voluntary-led disability exhibition, held annually in a huge tented village within the grounds of the Hall. Peter Powell, the Lymm town crier, and the Liverpool Scottish pipe band got proceedings underway with a rousing march into the gardens.
This year the event had two primary sponsors, Expanse Learning and United Utilities. Event coordinator David Thompson MBE was on hand to thank all the sponsors, organisers, and supporters who helped make the day possible, working tirelessly to complete all the preparations in a 9 week window.
Since its beginnings three decades ago the DAD movement has grown immensely and is now taking part simultaneously in 10 countries worldwide the latest country being Cameroon. Over £1 million has been raised by charities attending DAD events which have attracted over 600000 visitors
This year visitors to the show found over 200 exhibitors, equipment suppliers, transport, holidays, leisure, employment, support groups and services, a Sports Zone including Scuba diving, an Arts Marquee, Centre Arena and family entertainment. Opening at 10am the show ran until 4 pm with free entry and a free programme.
Entertaining the crowds in the Arts Marquee were acts including nationally acclaimed Ella Together and Warrington BSL Signing Choir, Creating Adventures, Dream Team Drama, Warrington West Concert Band, Bridgewater Singers, Wired for Sound and rock band Undead For Hollywood.
After the postponement of last years event due to covid the 29th annual event had to be changed to a virtual experience it was a great relief this year that the green light was given to again host the worlds biggest not for profit disability exhibition with the organisers of the event following all local and national COVID-19 guidance.