The Covid-19 pandemic has created major fund raising problems for charities throughout the UK with all normal activities and events put on hold because of national and local lockdown restrictions.
Nowhere has this been felt more acutely than by Warrington Disability Partnership (WDP) who have lost more than just cash in 2020.
Chief executive Dave Thompson MBE DL explained: “As well as having to suspend most of our fundraising activities we have actually lost nine members of team, or their family members, who died after contracting the virus and had several others who have fallen ill and been left with life changing impairments.
“Their loss is felt far more keenly than any amount of money. but the virus has also hit our fundraising hard. We normally put on or attend between 150 and 170 events each year.
Those have all had to be scrapped at a loss of more than £60,000, which is a big hole in our finances, and that’s why generous donations like this £390 from Gladstone Brookes are more important this year than ever.”
The donation was nominated by Mike Birkett who said: “GB has had a long association with the partnership and recognises the vital work they do for disabled people living in the local community and even further afield.
“One of our regular support activities has been to help out their annual Disability Awareness Day at Walton Gardens which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.
As well as raising much needed funds for the charity it also provides a wide range of information and support for disabled people.”
Normally scheduled for mid-July, the partnership postponed it until September 27th in the hope that the pandemic restrictions would have eased, but they were forced to cancel yet again and took the inspired decision of making it a virtual online event which launched on Sunday, October 25th.
Said Dave: “This would have been our 29th year of doing the event and we weren’t going to let coronavirus put us off so we have re-created the DAD Event Live into a yearlong virtual experience that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
“Last year we had more than 20,000 people attending, but there were many more who couldn’t afford the time or expense to travel perhaps hundreds of miles to visit our show. Now they can access the site whenever they like from the comfort of their own homes and see the whole range of exhibits and entertainers.
“They can enter each of the marquees, go to individual stalls and have a conversation via live chat or emails.
They will be able to make donations to any of the 100 charities we have represented, watch videos on products and services and much more.
“None of this would be possible without the generous donations of people like Gladstone Brookes which have been our lifeline during this difficult year.”
“• DAD 2020 Virtual will remain online at https://dadvirtual.org.uk/ until the partnership hosts its 30th annual event next year in Walton Gardens on Sunday 18th July.”