This exciting three-year project supported by the HS2 Community Fund has enabled the National Paralympic Heritage Trust to outreach to communities across Buckinghamshire bringing Paralympic heritage and many untold local stories to life. It also engaged new volunteers from across Buckinghamshire and equiped them with new skills.
Together with nine communities along the HS2 phase 1 route we've uncovered and recorded stories at risk of being lost, shared and promoted them locally and nationally while building skills across Buckinghamshire. We have achieved this through workshops in schools and community settings providing the opportunity for groups to meet Paralympians and host artist residencies. These workshops have resulted in the creation of content for the National Paralympic Heritage Trust website and culminated in group visits to the permanent displays at the Paralympic Heritage Centre in Stoke Mandeville.
Some workshops have seen groups researching key events such as the Finmere Show which contributed to fundraising for the early Games from 1960 for over 30 years or the first Wheelchair Marathon which went through the Chalfonts. While others have worked with disabled artists to develop work and displays reflective of Buckinghamshire’s Paralympic heritage. The community in Stoke Mandeville have focused specifically on developing a trail to link the displays at the National Spinal Injuries Centre to those at the National Paralympic Heritage Centre in Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Our aim is to instil pride in Buckinghamshire for what is truly a remarkable national achievement.
This project has also supported a range of tailored outreach events and activities that promote Paralympic heritage including pop-up museum visits at local events with a handling collection and showcasing the work developed with schools and communities.
Do you have stories, memories or photographs that relate to any part of the journey associated with the development of the Paralympic Movement? We would love to hear from you, please get in touch by email at [email protected] or call on: 01296 489929. You can find out more about what we are looking for here.
Each of the schools and community groups selected will work with one of our disabled artists to enhance their learning experience on this project. Read about the artists and their work here.
Working with schools and community groups along the HS2 phase 1 route we will uncover and record stories at risk of being lost, share and promote them locally and nationally.
About the funders for this project, the HS2 Community Fund and the Thriving Communities Grant.