By spring 2019 there will be a brand new Paralympic Heritage Centre of 54sqm situated within Stoke Mandeville Stadium, close to the entrance and café. It will tell the story of Paralympic movement starting with its pioneer Dr Guttmann, followed by a timeline, the technical development of sports wheelchairs, celebrations and ceremonies and an area devoted to changing displays selected by the public from our growing collections. To enhance the visitor experience we wish to purchase a range of items and develop a range of activities that will enable our public to learn more and leave with a level of understanding about what makes a good inclusive society. We aim to make everything accessible, meeting a wide range of needs . Volunteers will be recruited to support this area of activity including the building of relationships with many communities, local schools, deaf and disabled groups.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The Paralympic Movement is a story with unique British involvement; there is nothing comparable to it. As well as showing how disability sport has developed it also captures and tells the story of the prowess, courage and endeavour of hundreds of individual athletes over its 65-year history. It starts with the story of Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a German Jewish refugee, his success in keeping spinally injured people not only alive but also fit and active shows that one man can literally ‘change the world’. The athletes within the story are powerful and inspiring role models for people from all walks of life. They also provide particular resonance for the ten million disabled people in the UK who have very few ‘celebrity’ or ‘historical’ role models to refer to. The UK has continued to play a key leadership role in the development of the Paralympic movement, However, further attitudinal shift is still required with disabled people still experiencing societal barriers and discrimination.
Steps to get it done:
The interest from the general public in Britain in the Paralympic Games has grown enormously since London 2012 and engendered an interest in sports heritage. The national Cultural Olympiad project, ‘Our Sporting Life’, of which Stoke Mandeville was a part, included over one hundred exhibitions attracting over a million visitors in the run up to 2012. This, alongside the outcome of our extensive audience development work inspires confidence that an audience is ready and waiting to hear this story. Local pride has generated interest in the history of the Paralympic movement in and around the area where it began in Buckinghamshire and, evidenced through several local Cultural Olympiad projects involving the public and many local schools with the story, alongside on going audience development research in 2015-2018. The National Paralympic Heritage Trust was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Charity Commissioners as a Charity in July 2015.
About the space
Stoke Mandeville Parish is on the edge of Aylesbury, it is a built up urban area. It is close to several major schools and the home of Stoke Mandeville Stadium, a fully accessible sports centre that hosts national and international disability sport events
Aylesbury Vale District Council
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