20th February 2024

An Update from NPHT

Our last newsletter and Christmas seem a very long time ago and we are only 2 months away from completing the first year of our new 5 year strategy, with so much learning along the way.
We said goodbye to Amy Coleman, our Collections Officer, in January as she goes to pursue her painting career and welcomed Sam Brady back, having completed his PhD on the History of the Sports Wheelchair, to cover the work in the interim. Sam did 6 months work experience in 2022, producing our exciting history app and has hit the ground running. Over the coming two months we will be doing some more recruitment to help us deliver an organisation ideally equipped to deliver our new strategy.
2024 is an exciting year with Paris round the corner, and Vicky, our CEO, and Gaele, one of our Trustees, attended a useful networking event at the French Ambassador's residency earlier this month, making some useful contacts and promoting our collections, the history app and the virtual galleries, all of which will launch later this year.
The Heritage Centre celebrates its 5th birthday on Friday 29th March and we are looking forward to celebrating our journey so far. Over the next few years we will change some of the displays inviting our visitors to choose items that reflect the wider disability sports associated with the Games.

A Spotlight On ... Seamlessly Sensing

We are delighted to have partnered with the Royal Holloway University to deliver some co-curated workshops. The workshops focus on Inclusive Co-created Audio Description (WICAD), a system developed by the Royal Holloway University linked to their Sensational Museum work and nationally recognised as ground breaking and inclusive. The project kicked off with an online training session which we shared with other cultural organisations across Buckinghamshire with 29 attendees.

The next step is to work with disabled and non-disabled participants in one-day workshops (4 days in total) they will co-curate audio descriptions of objects from the National Paralympic Heritage Trust (NPHT) Collection and other Buckinghamshire Museums which will feature in a 3D format in the Virtual Paralympic Museum we are building. We will then evaluate the use of these descriptions later this year, learning lessons and developing our journey to becoming seamlessly inclusive.

The first of our one-day co-curated workshops with Royal Holloway University.

What's On...

Come along and join us at the following events:
6th-7th March, Bucks Skills Show at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

Friday 8th March, Meet Paralympic sprinter Thomas Young. 
We are delighted to welcome Thomas who will be delivering two online talks.
11-11:50am for schools and home educated children. 1pm lunchtime talk for adults.

2nd-7th April, British Swimming Championships at London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Look out for our pop-up museum at this event.

Save the Date

6th or 13th June (date tbc) DICE Club Business Breakfast.
5th July, Meet the Paralympian online talk.
More information and guest speakers to be announced shortly.

Three runners on an athletics track.

Paralympic sprinter Thomas Young. © imagecomms for ParalympicsGB.

Sign up to our latest Meet the Paralympian event here🏅

Learning and Engagement

The development of our virtual galleries is well underway as we near the completion of the Buckinghamshire gallery, the British Blind Sport gallery and the Japanese Gallery. We are pleased to have developed these galleries alongside cultural partners, local schools and with Mitsubishi Corporation for the Japanese Gallery. The learning from the project continues as we partner with SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) schools and cultural partners to develop resources that make their spaces more accessible to those with sensory needs, alongside celebrating disability related items in their collections.

Heritage House School at Chesham Museum.

Working in partnership with the libraries network we are developing an exhibition that will tour Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Amersham libraries this summer. This exhibition will  focus on the various posters relating to the Games from the early Stoke Mandeville Games through to the Paralympic Games. We will work with our supporters to decide which posters they want to feature in the exhibition.  Follow our socials to find out more and cast your vote.

Collections news

As part of Buckinghamshire History Festival in November we ran a great Photo ID day supported by Buckinghamshire Archives. We welcomed back to the Heritage Centre some early Paralympians including Sally Haynes and Jackie Walker, along with some new faces some of whom brought their own photo collections and were able to help us to recognise many people in some of the early photos and the dates of the photos.  We look forward to running more of these days to uncover more stories and information from our rich collection.
 A new and exciting addition to our collection is Adam Hills MBE 2012 Golden Foot. Adam is a presenter on the iconic show ‘The Last Leg’. This unique prosthetic, adorned with the names of the Great Britain gold medallists from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, has found its permanent home at the National Paralympic Heritage Centre.
Look out for the Golden Foot on tour across Buckinghamshire this summer as we countdown to the Paris 2024 Games.

The delivery of Adam Hills' golden foot to the NPHT team.

Read more about Adam Hills' donation here🦿


We are thrilled to have recently secured the support of 2 new funders to help us deliver our ambitious programme of work over the next 3 years.

Museum Association funding will help us connect with communities in Buckinghamshire and across the UK to develop and share our Paralympic collections and have a say in all our work at NPHT. Particularly through our exciting work uncovering new stories and the Paralympic history of British Blind Sport, Cerebral Palsy Sport and Dwarf Sport.

The Wolfson Foundation will fund the development of our new Virtual Museum. Together with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Rothschild Foundation, Arts Council England, and Mitsubishi Corporation (London) we look forward to sharing our collections in our first virtual museum galleries opening in late spring. Watch this space!

Corporate news

We are delighted to announce two new and exciting corporate partnerships for 2024 with Buckinghamshire based companies: Gartec Lifts Ltd and Global Infusions Group. Here is what they have to say about why they have chosen to support NPHT this year.

Gartec, a platform lift company specialising in accessibility solutions located in Aylesbury, eagerly anticipates our charity of choice partnership for 2024 and the numerous opportunities it offers to support such a meaningful local cause. Through Gartec's commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, we believe we can contribute to the mission of The National Paralympic Heritage Trust in celebrating the achievements and stories of human endeavour within the Paralympic movement. The shared values of empowerment and resilience align perfectly, propelling us to collaborate in making a positive impact on our local community. The potential to raise awareness, funds, and support for the Trust's initiatives and programs excites us. Together, we can help ensure that the Paralympic heritage continues to inspire and enrich the lives of people.


Global Infusions Group is honoured to be the nominated caterer for Team GB at the Performance Lodge and Preparation Camp in the lead up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Based in Aston Clinton, close to the home of the Paralympics, it’s absolutely the jewel in the crown for us! We are looking forward to supporting the National Paralympic Heritage Trust wherever and whenever we can, including hosting their DICE event at our headquarters in the coming months.

Getting involved

Are you preparing for National volunteer week which takes place on the 1st - 7th June every year?
Why not come along to Stoke Mandeville for a corporate volunteer day with the NPHT team on either 4th or the 5th June?
Find out more about corporate support here or contact [email protected] for more information.

Thank you

Thank you to British Blind Sport who have donated two boxes of collections to us, including old newsletters, programmes, annual reports and some athletes kit from the IBSA World Games held in Birmingham in summer 2023, a first for the UK. We are also grateful to Stephen Brown’s (weightlifter) family for their donation of his collection, and to Paralympian Roy Turnham (blind football) and Goalball Coach Dina Murdie for the loan of some personal items for recording and providing time to capture and record their amazing histories.
Many thanks, as always, to our dedicated volunteer and staff team. We very much look forward to an exciting year ahead.

Support our ongoing work by donating here 🤗