Published: Monday 13 September 2021

On Sunday 12 September, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, joined Cheshire Constabulary at Disability Awareness Day (DAD) to hear about the issues affecting disabled people across the county.

The event, held at Walton Hall and Gardens in Warrington, is the largest of its kind in Europe and can attract up to 20,000 visitors. Thousands of people attended again this year to visit over 500 information stalls hosted by charities, businesses and organisations, alongside entertainment that included drumming, falconry and a silent disco.

At the Commissioner’s stall, people were asked to vote in a poll about whether they had been a victim of hate crime or discrimination. 43% of people who took part said they had experienced these things.

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said:

“It was a pleasure to support DAD and I’m really grateful for the time people took to talk. Events like this are vital in helping the police and me understand how we can best serve disabled people who live, visit and work in our county.

“I was disappointed to learn that so many people had suffered from hate crime and discrimination. I want Cheshire to be a safe place for disabled people where they are not subjected to either of these things, and I’ll use what I’ve learnt from the experiences they shared with me to make that happen.”

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At the end of a busy and rainy day and with few items left to hand out, the Commissioner’s stall was delighted to learn that they’d been given the ‘best statutory services exhibitor’ award, which was handed over by DAD founder, Dave Thompson.

John Dwyer added:

“I’m delighted that we won this award and am glad people found the information leaflets and crime prevention items like purse bells that we handed out so useful. It was great seeing the amazement on children’s faces too when they were allowed to activate the siren and sit in the police car that the Constabulary brought along.”

“A huge thanks has to go to Dave Thomspon and his team at Warrington Disability Partnership who celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. DAD has changed so many lives and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

More information about Disability Awareness Day is available here: https://www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk/