Our history

Explore the fascinating history of National Star and discover how we’ve been realising the aspirations of people with disabilities for 50+ incredible years.

National Star founders Iris Ratsey and Eleanor Beevers along with ambulent and non-ambulent learners

The 1960s

Founding visionaries Iris Ratsey and Eleanor Beevers were joined by Dame Isobel Cripps, Andrew Wilson and his Truth Research Foundation, Mary Ross, Major Charles and Elizabeth Frankland Moore. Thanks to their committed efforts and the support of many others, The Star Centre came to fruition at Ullenwood Manor, near Cheltenham.

The Star Centre opens on 10 May with 10 students – four women and six men. Living and learning takes place in Ullenwood Manor supported by 26 staff.

The 1970s

In the 1970s The Star Centre was renamed The National Star Centre for Disabled Youth to reflect the fact that students came from across the UK.

The 1980s

In the 1980s the number of National Star students increased to 100 and Joanne Slade became the first student with complex disabilities to pass her RSA typing exam.

The 1990s

In the 1990s two former students won medals at the 1992 Summer Paralympics and National Star received a Regional Training Award.

The 00s

In the 00s National Star launched its independent travel training programme LiftTraining, built new student residences at Cheltenham, opened new accommodation in Gloucester and created a student advocacy service.

The 10s

In the 10s National Star builds StarBistro, opens its first day provisions in Hereford and Wales and opens long-term residential provision in Cheltenham.

  • About us

    At National Star, we’re driven by our vision for a world in which people with disabilities are able to realise their potential as equal and active citizens in...