July 2014 is swiftly approaching – and with it comes a week-long calendar of events to mark a very special occasion…

The occasion is Warrington Disability Partnership’s Disability Awareness Day (DAD) – now in its 23rd year, DAD is the world’s largest not for profit, voluntary-led  pan-disability exhibition – and the date for your diary is Sunday, July 13 at Walton Hall Gardens, Warrington (off the A56).

The main aim of DAD is to showcase the wide range of support services available locally, regionally and nationally that enable disabled people, carers and families to stay independent.

Principally sponsored by Your Housing Group, why not join the thousands expected to attend an event that is guaranteed to be entertaining, educational, inspirational and unforgettable.

A huge tented village will play host to an expected 250 exhibitors and it is estimated that more than 25,000 visitors will make the journey to Warrington from across the UK and beyond to experience DAD 2014.

With a free, accessible park and ride service; a free bus from Warrington Bus Interchange; British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters; trained assistants and a scooter / wheelchair loans service, DAD 2014 promises to be 100 per cent all-inclusive.

Staff from Your Housing Group will be on hand to talk to visitors who may have questions about housing and recent Welfare Reform changes – including the options available and where they can receive the right advice and support.

Also on-site will be the fully accessible – and outdoor – Dave Connor Sports Zone, which will boast an impressive assortment of activities including a climbing wall with full harness; archery; small boar rifle shooting; striker academy; wheelchair basketball; an inflatable rugby pitch and a football / tennis area (provided by Warrington Wolves); golf – courtesy of Cheshire County; Cheshire Scuba Academy; Kuk Sool Won Martial Arts, Widnes; and fencing with WDP Trustee Adrian Derbyshire.

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. There will also be an exhibition of artwork – produced by disabled artists – for visitors to enjoy.

For a full running order, please visit the DAD website at www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk

The big day – which will take place 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 thousands more visitors.
The sheer breadth 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.

Event founder and Co-ordinator Dave Thompson MBE DL 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: “It is very humbling to hear the interest from across the world about our event -which initially started out as a one-off celebration, but has since become the main event on the disability calendar nationally and now internationally. This is all thanks to a great team of staff, volunteers and supporters aptly named ‘DAD’s Army’. Overall DAD focuses on what disabled people can do – not what we can’t do – and it proves to be a great day out for everyone.”

Brian Cronin, Chief Executive of Your Housing Group, said: “Your Housing Group is enormously proud to once again be the principal sponsor of the Disability Awareness Day. As well as being a fantastic community event, DAD provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the achievements and talents of people living with various disabilities.  It also offers Your Housing Group the chance to show the work we are doing across the Group on Welfare Reform to ensure that our residents are fully informed and supported.”

For more details on DAD 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


Saturday, July 5
Launch of DAD 2014

An arts showcase – which will be held at Golden Square in Warrington Town Centre from 10.30am to 4.30pm – 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.

Monday, July 7
‘Party in the Park’

‘DAD Week’ – with all events to be held at Walton Hall Gardens – begins with ‘Party in the Park’ on Monday, July 7.

Tailored for younger people (ages five to 25), ‘Party in the Park’ is a partnership of local children and young people’s support groups presenting a fun-filled and fully accessible evening for disabled children, disabled young people, their families and their friends. Activities include arts, dance and sports plus chill-out and fun areas.

The event, which is free of charge, starts at 5.30pm to 6.30pm for children aged five to 11 and starts at 7pm to 9pm for 11-25s. It is advised that people book their places for this event to avoid disappointment as no entrance will be permitted unless booked in advance.

Tuesday, July 8
‘Frogtastic in the Park’

The party mood continues with ‘Frogtastic in the Park’ – a night out aimed at people who have learning disabilities, their families and friends.

This inclusive club night will feature two ace tribute acts – ‘Bob Marley & Rhianna’ -and a full supporting show from Ronnie C & AJ Valliant and the ‘Frogtastic’ Club Night DJs. Advance tickets for this event, which includes a licensed bar and dance floor, are £4 per person.

Wednesday, July 9
‘Ignite Your Life’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshops and Exhibition

5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust invites you to join them in Walton Hall Gardens’ Arts Marquee from 10.30am to 3.30pm 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. Please contact Kathryn Earlam on 01925 664450 for more information.

 ‘Evening of Celebration’

The middle of ‘DAD Week’ will be an ‘Evening of Celebration’ with evangelist singer-songwriter Godfrey Birtill. With self-penned songs including ‘Outrageous Grace’ and ‘Just One Touch FromThe King’, don’t miss the chance to see this hugely talented performer at the Arts Marquee from 7pm. Admission is free.

Thursday, July 10
Wingates Brass Band

Thursday, July 10 will see Walton Hall Gardens’ Arts Marquee welcome one the country’s finest contesting brass bands – Wingates Brass Band.

Formed in 1873 and originally known as the Wingates Temperance Band, this multiple award-winning group – currently led by Music Director (and friend of WDP) Paul Andrews – has a long tradition of performing to the highest level both live and in the recording studio. Last year was the band’s 140th anniversary and they celebrated in style by not only recording five tracks at Media City’s Philharmonic Hall for a special stint on BBC Radio 2, but also released their first ever double CD ‘From Fifes to Fanfare and Fame’.

This special event promises to be an unforgettable experience in the company of an elite brass band. Listen on in awe as they serve up an easy-listening and eclectic mix of film scores and contemporary tunes – something to suit everyone’s taste in music. Tickets are priced at £7.50 (£5 for concessions) and please book early to guarantee your attendance.

Friday, July 11
Alternative Futures Dementia-Friendly Workshops
Mega BBQ, Quiz and Charity Auction

As we near the end of ‘DAD Week’, the Arts Marquee will play host to a further two events…

The Alternative Futures Dementia-Friendly Workshops (10am to 11am and 12noon to 1pm) are free and open to all. For more details / booking information, please contact Carol Toner or Angela Buckley on 0151 489 5501.

The workshops will be followed by the Mega BBQ, Quiz and Charity Auction (7.30pm to 11.30pm).
If you fancy a night of fabulous food, fantastic 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 2014. Admission is by ticket only (£7.50), which includes the barbecue.



Please be aware that DAD 2014 will feature an on-site Press Office where media representatives can speak directly the organisers and pick up a press pack.

Disability Awareness Day (DAD) is organised by Warrington Disability Partnership – a voluntary organisation run predominantly by disabled people with the aim of improving the quality of life for disabled people and their families through a range of direct and indirect services.

WDP’s Mission Statement is: “A User-led Organisation providing Mobility & Independent Living Solutions.”

Over the years DAD has inspired individuals and groups across the UK – and the globe – to set up similar celebratory events. These include DAD events in Gibraltar, India, Cameroon, Denmark and Sweden. Closer to home, DAD events have also taken place in Leigh, Shropshire and Cornwall.

Your Housing Group was formed on 2 April 2012 following the merger of Harvest Housing Group and Arena Housing Group. This merger has created a new group with a combined stock of around 32,000 properties across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

The Mission Statement of Your Housing Group is: “Transforming Your Lives and Your Communities.”