Each week we are going to be saying “Hello” to another organisation in the VI world to learn more about who they are and what they do.

This week, we are chatting to Tom Bendall who is the Outreach and Events Officer at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC).

So, Hi Tom, please can you tell us all about RNC: 

RNC is the UK’s leading specialist residential college of further education for people with a visual impairment. We offer a range of academic and vocational courses for visually impaired students whether they want to prepare for university, go into employment or simply become more independent.

RNC is proud to offer a range of courses at various levels. We deliver a highly individualised curriculum, which meets the diverse needs of our students. Our staff are committed to giving you every opportunity to achieve your full potential and will work with you to help you review and support your progress.

Life at RNC is about more than just the academic side, as a primarily residential college the majority of our students live on campus. RNC provides you with a supportive residential environment that will develop your confidence to study independently and, just as importantly, to live independently.

During the pandemic it has meant that we have been unable to welcome families and prospective students onto our campus to showcase what we do. However, we have created this ‘Come and See RNC’ video to give you a brief insight.

3 visually impaired students stood chatting outside RNC

We know about the successful goalball teams at RNC but what other sports are available to students?

RNC is home to the first visually impaired Sports Academy of its type in the UK. The Sports Academy is designed to meet the needs of students who have aspirations to progress in their chosen sport. Sessions are flexible to fit in alongside your individualised academic / vocational timetable. You will receive between 1 and 10 hours of Sports Academy sessions per week, depending on your timetable and mixture of lessons and sports.

The Sports Academy provides support to aspiring athletes in a professional training environment with world class accessible facilities and the highest standard of coaching.

In addition to goalball, the main sports we offer are blind football, partially sighted futsal and judo. We also deliver a range of other sports including boccia, gymnastics and tennis depending on individual requirements.

For full RNC Sports Academy members, we will tailor sport-specific programmes and will encourage you to train like a professional athlete. As well as practicing your chosen sport, your timetable will include strength and conditioning plus sessions on nutrition, lifestyle, and injury and rehabilitation management.

Right winger defending the ball

How can we find out more?

On Saturday 27 March 2021 we will be hosting a Virtual Open Morning for parents/carers followed by a Have-A-Go Afternoon of online activities for young people with a visual impairment.

The event is FREE and is open to anyone aged 13+!

The day will provide an opportunity to:

  • Meet current students and staff
  • Discuss funding, careers and transitions
  • Attend lesson drop-in sessions
  • Play an online Escape Room and RNC version of ‘The Chase’ Quiz Show

For more information about the event or to find out how to apply to study with us please get in touch! You can email us on info@rnc.ac.uk or call us on 01432 265 725 to speak to one of the team.

A poster advertising the Virtual Open Morning and Have-A-Go Afternoon on Saturday 27th March