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'We Are Gay History' Project

The National Ambulance LGBT Network is working in partnership with the National Emergency Services Museum to capture and preserve our LGBT history, and develop resources for LGBT History Month.

The National Ambulance LGBT Network is proud to working alongside the National Emergency Services Museum.


Celebrating Our History

If you search for ambulance service history you soon find that information is pretty thin on the ground. If you try and find information about LGBT people in the ambulance service you will find virtually nothing. After all, just over 50 years ago sexual acts between two men were illegal and so it is highly unlikely people’s stories were ever recorded.

With some help from the staff at the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield we decided to pay homage to LGBT people in the past by collecting a series of photographs of current National Ambulance LGBT Network members in historical uniforms. We have also collected some interesting ambulance service facts to go with each photograph.

'Celebrating Our History' Booklet


Tell Your Story

In 2017 we published the first version of our 'We Are Gay History' booklet which is a collection of stories written by LGBT people who work, or have worked, in the ambulance service. This resource has been used by many services across the United Kingdom to raise the profile of some of the issues and influence cultural change.

We are looking for LGBT people who would like to add their story to our future resources. Working with the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield we are keen to look at how the lives of LGBT staff in the ambulance service have changed over the past decades.

In addition, we are also keen to hear from people who currently work for the ambulance service.

We are looking to launch a new version of this booklet in 2019 in time for LGBT History Month, so don't delay!

If you would like to be involved, please get in touch with one of the following:

  • Alistair Gunn
    Chair to National Ambulance LGBT Network

  • Kirsten Willis
    Deputy Chair to National Ambulance LGBT Network

  • Holly Roberts
    Visitor Experience Co-ordinator at the National Emergency Services Museum

  • Matthew Wakefield
    Chief Executive at the National Emergency Services Museum

You can view a copy of the 'We Are Gay History' booklet (2017 version) below.

'We Are Gay History' Booklet

Photos and Archives

We are currently exploring the possibility of producing an exhibition within the National Emergency Services Museum to enable us to continue to educate, inspire and prompt exciting new conversations. We are keen to hear from anyone who has photographs or objects that could contribute to this exciting venture.

We promise to treat all artefacts with the upmost respect. All items will be handled by the Museum’s collection professionals and any photographs, documents or similar items can be digitised, with originals being returned to their owner. Other items such as equipment and uniform can be donated or temporarily gifted on a loan basis.

If you would like to help with this project, or discuss it further, please do get in touch with one of the people listed above.

National Emergency Services Museum

The National Emergency Services Museum is based in Sheffield city centre. It originally opened in 1984 as the Sheffield Fire and Police Museum, and was given its present name in 2014. The Museum’s collection of over one million items has been in existence since 1931.


The Museum’s rotating displays mean that there are always new things to see. Currently there are over 40 vehicles on display ranging from a Victorian hearse to a 47 foot Tyne Class Lifeboat. The NESM is the final home for many former emergency service vehicles and as a National museum holds extensive archives. Several old ambulances from Yorkshire are housed at the museum including the 1950s City of Sheffield Austin Sheerline in its original dark blue livery, complete with wooden framed stretchers and an 1885 horse-drawn ambulance which would have operated around the Barnsley area. The Museum also owns a 1980s Ford ambulance with Hanlon body, which would have operated throughout West Yorkshire. This vehicle is a regular at public engagements including many arranged by Yorkshire Ambulance Service but is currently awaiting some light restoration work.

Trip Advisor rates the museum as 4.5 stars out of a possible 5, with 63% of visitors describing the museum as excellent. You can find more information about the museum and its collection at

Other useful contact information for the museum:

  • T: 0114 2491 999
  • E:

Please note that staff currently working for one of the blue light services can gain free entry into the museum on production of a valid identification card. Blue Light cards are not accepted.