IT may have started as a small event 18 years ago, but Disability Awareness Day can now boast not just national but European exhibitors!

For the first time people from Spain and Cyprus will be among the almost 300 exhibitors at the day on Sunday, July 12.

And Dave Thompson, from organisers Warrington Disability Partnership, says the European influence shows how the day has grown.

He added: “The event is already recognised as Europe’s largest voluntary-led disability exhibition.

“To get these two exhibitors from Europe to come shows how popular it is.

“Our aim today, as it was 18 years ago, is to create an event that brings people together, no matte what or the level of their impairment/disability.”

As well as the exhibitors there will be more than 100 charities on show on the day and some 25,000 visitors are expected too.

Among the highlights of this year’s event will be an inclusive arts event with disabled artists from across the north west and there will be an onsite cinema housing the Slice of Life film festival - all on a disability theme.

And the main stage arena will be packed full of family friendly activities from 10am until the close at 5pm.

New for this year will be the therapy marquee with a range of alternative therapies.

Dave said: “Don’t fall asleep though because there is plenty more to see and do.”

Again, free park and ride buses operate throughout the day from the car park next to Morrisons while buses also run from the main bus station in the town centre.

Don’t forget, the last bus is at 5.40pm.