A PLAQUE has been unveiled at Walton Hall and Gardens to celebrate nearly 30 years of Disability Awareness Day.

DAD was first started in 1992, with the 30th event due to take place next year.

Ahead of this milestone, the partnership between DAD and Walton Gardens has been commemorated by a plaque erected in the grounds of the hall.

Dave Thompson, co-founder and chief executive of Warrington Disability Partnership, said: “We simply couldn’t hold DAD without the ongoing help and support of the management and staff at Walton Hall and Gardens.

“Our collaboration is built on mutual respect.

"Not only does WDP use the facilities each year, we are involved in other aspects – including providing advice and guidance on improvements to access and facilities and attending community events held at the park.

“Initially, we were told by various leading people that DAD wouldn’t work, and the fact it has not only been successful but has grown in popularity over almost 30 years is the most pleasing.

"We’re looking forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary next year.”

Every DAD since its conception has been held at Walton Gardens, including a royal visit by Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, in 2011.

It has enabled charities the opportunity to raise more than £1million during that time.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for leisure and community Cllr Tony Higgins said: “Warrington Disability Awareness Day is one of the most important dates in our annual calendar – bringing our communities together for a celebration of a can do attitude, raising awareness and providing a range of invaluable information and support for people with a disability.

“We have been proud to host the event at Walton Hall and Gardens for nearly 30 years, and it’s been wonderful to see the event thrive and grow.

“While the current restrictions mean this year’s event has to be held virtually, I’m delighted that we have been able to unveil this plaque in the gardens marking almost three decades of a very special friendship.

"Long may it continue."

This year's Disability Awareness Day will be held online on Sunday, October 25, at dadvirtual.org.uk.

The 30th DAD is scheduled to take place on July 18 2021.