Industry icon honoured for lifetime of achievements
After forming the Warrington Disability Partnership 27 years ago and helping to grow and develop it into the organisation it is today, Chief Executive and founder Dave Thompson DL MBE has been awarded with a special Lifetime Achievement Award at the Warrington Business Awards.
Founded by Dave Thompson, along with Eric Shaw and Alan James in 1991 out of the Dallam Day Centre in the early 90’s following a tragic American Football accident, the Warrington Disability Partnership began as a local information service for the disabled in Warrington, highlighting accessible businesses and shops.
Over the years, the charity has grown significantly, employing nearly 50 paid staff and 230 volunteers to help deliver 27 services to over 2000 disabled individuals each week.
Described as a ‘humanitarian and pioneer that the town of Warrington should be proud of’ at the night, various stand out achievements of Dave’s were mentioned, including the forming of the successful social enterprise The Disability Trading Company and the charity’s inspirational Phoenix Project.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Dave discussed the dark days that followed his accident and the incredible support of those around him, as well as paid homage to the staff and volunteers at both the charity and social enterprise.
Commenting on the start of the charity, Dave said: “We never had a business plan and we never had a mission statement but we had a bloody good purpose and that was to ensure other disabled people did not suffer what we were suffering.”
Forming the Disability Trading Company, the retail arm of Warrington Disability Partnership, in 2011, the company operates three retail stores across Warrington and Liverpool and invests all profits made back into the charity.
With a turnover of around £1.4 million, the retailer also recently gained Motability accreditation, offering what it now calls a ‘total offer’ to customers, having also recently introduced a 0 percent interest-rate finance offer and three-months free insurance.
“Today, we run a charity with a full business impact. No doubt about it; it’s ethical, it’s value-based and that what we believe in upholding.”
The ceremony was held at Lymm Rugby Club on Friday 8 June 2018.
Jennifer Roulston, Warrington Business Awards 2018 Organising Committee Member and Partner at FDR Law, commented: “What a fabulous night. The quality of the nominations for each of this year’s awards was extremely high and the deserving winners exemplify what a great collective ‘can do’ attitude we with have here in the Warrington business community. It is the entrepreneurs, innovators and success stories we have celebrated at the Warrington Business Awards 2018 that are the driving force of the UK economy. Well done to everyone involved.”
Watch Dave Thompson’s acceptance speech below (from 23mins onwards):