Happy Birthday RNC

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Psst! Want to hear something special?
The Royal National College for the Blind is 150 this year!

Since opening its doors in Crystal Palace, London on 1 March, 1872, the RNC charity has supported countless generations of visually impaired people to have the independent future they so deserve. This independent specialist college was the vision of Dr Thomas Armitage, a Victorian philanthropist and like minded American visionary Francis Campbell. After several moves and a long spell in Shropshire, RNC moved to its home in Hereford, just north of the city centre and now has up to 100 students, age 16-25, living and studying on its single-site campus. From here, they move onto higher education, into employment or volunteering roles in their own communities. The original RNC placed great emphasis on physical education and this is still true today, with the college boasting a world renowned Sports Academy championing disability sports, with several national award winning teams including the RNC Blind Football Team that won the FA Disability Cup last summer and individuals on Paralympic training pathways. Life skills are core to the curriculum, with every student receiving a tailored independent living skills training plan including cookery, mobility, personal finance and home care.

‘To celebrate this wonderful milestone and support vital improvements for our students, we’re asking fellow Sterling members to create their own #RNC150 Challenge: walk, run, swim, cycle, sail, climb, rollerskate, pogo, bake, stitch, paint, craft, create etc,’ says Melanie Denning, Fundraising Manager. ‘You could do it as a personal challenge or it might be fun to get together with a group of workmates… the choice is yours and we’re here to support!’

Funds raised will support the charity’s ongoing education programme and various exciting projects including:

  • a beautiful new sensory & working garden where students can relax OR get active, growing plants for sale to the public or for use in the kitchens.
  • a new, fully accessible Audio Media Production Suite where students will study Media qualifications, getting creative with podcasts, radio interviews, recording live music etc
  • a new keyless cross-campus security system supporting quick one-touch easy access to halls, classrooms and other facilities, important for all students but especially those using canes, guide dogs or wheelchairs.
  • new equipment for the Sports Academy and VI-friendly gadgets for the Independent Living Skills Kitchens.
  • the latest technology to support students with a wide range of visual impairments.

To get involved and help make a difference, please contact Melanie Denning, fundraising manager  melanie.denning@rnc.ac.uk  07436 095773