Warrington Disability Partnership team and Dave Thompson at award April 2019

In front of more than 300 guests, Cheshire-based charity Warrington Disability Partnership (WDP) scooped up the Cheshire High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise 2018/19 at the prestigious annual Cheshire High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise.

Hosted by the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Alexis Redmond MBE, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler, the crowd of attendees gathered at Chester Racecourse to celebrate the region’s business community.

Guest speakers Roger Johnson from BBC North West Tonight and Phil Redmond, TV producer and screenwriter, entertained the audience with their conversation and stories during the evening

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WDP was awarded the Awards’ overall prize, the Cheshire High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise 2018/19, sponsored by White Oak UK, with judges commending the organisation on its achievements.

Based in Warrington, WDP is a user-led, pan-disability charity that has been developing and delivering mobility and independent living services aimed at supporting disabled people and people living with long-term health conditions in the region for the past 28 years.

The charity now provides 28 services, including its successful annual Disability Awareness Day, whilst also operating its social enterprise retail arm, the Disability Trading Company. In 2018, the charity partnered with Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, embedding a new Mobility and Independent Living Service within the hospital, reaching tens of thousands of disabled residents and carers in the area.

Dave Thompson, MBE DL, Co-Founder and Chief Executive at WDP, said: “It was an absolute honour to have reached the shortlist in our category, and when it was announced that we had won, it felt utterly amazing.

“As a medium-sized charity, we knew that we had to adopt business strategies in order to survive the past few years of austerity which has resulted in years of cuts in grants and contracts with statutory services. We have worked hard to find the balance between the use of business acumen needed to develop a hugely successful trading arm, the Disability Trading Company, and the values-based ethical philosophy of our charity.

“The Award is truly appreciated by the whole team at WDP, our volunteers, our staff and our Board, as it adds credibility to our work. We would like to thank the High Sheriff of Cheshire, the organisers, the sponsors and the judges.”

Alongside the esteemed award, Warrington Disability Partnership has also won a place on the University of Chester’s MBA programme, worth £10,000.

Earlier this year, the charity announced its plans to launch the UK’s first national, pan-disability museum, receiving backing from the British Healthcare Trades Association, as well as support from retailers within the industry offering to donate antique mobility aids.

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