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Black and White photograph of six young men, smartly dressed in white shirts and dark trousers playing wheelchair polo

Wheelchair Polo

Featured Project

Working closely with Bucks County Council who deliver the project, Accentuate aims to ensure that the history of Stoke Mandeville is recognised and celebrated as the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.

Through working with disabled artists and schools and community groups, the impact of the movement is currently being explored.  This project also focuses on Stoke Mandeville’s historic archives.

This Accentuate project is lead by Buckinghamshire County Council and with less than 600 days to go to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, they are asking people across the county to cast their memories back to help tell the story of how the Paralympic movement started at Stoke Mandeville.

Ruth Page, from Buckinghamshire County Council set up focus groups asking “Were you involved in the 1984 Paralympic Games at Stoke Mandeville? Do you have a story about the early Paralympic Games, Sir Ludwig Guttmann or the pioneering work of the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital?”  The idea is that these focus groups will help to build a living archive around this fascinating story.  It is also an opportunity for ex-Paralympians, or people who have worked at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, to share their personal stories. 

Tricia Birchley, Cabinet Member for Adults and Family Wellbeing, encouraged people to share their memories.

“It is amazing when you realise how one man’s dream to make the Stoke Mandeville Games a worldwide celebration of disabled abilities has come about. So far we have uncovered some fascinating photographs, documents and memorabilia that will help us tell this story to the world. We want to add personal recollections to this to bring alive the legacy of Stoke Mandeville and celebrate the story of disability across the region. If Sir Ludwig Guttmann and his pioneering team or Stoke Mandeville Hospital spinal unit has touched your life in any way we’d love to hear about it.’

The interactive focus groups, took place on 26th, 28th January and 3rd February, and aimed to capture individual memories and accounts of people’s experiences of Stoke Mandeville for inclusion in an exhibition and new website later in the year.

To find out more got to or contact Ruth Page on 01296 383009 or email

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