Celebration of Achievement – Class of 2018-19

RNC President, The Hon Mrs Jessica White

On Thursday, 19 December 2019, the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) hosted its annual Celebration of Achievement awards.

The event is attended by students, their families, RNC staff and governors along with some specially invited local dignitaries.

The ceremony looks back at some of the best moments from the past year and provides an opportunity for students to collect their qualification certificates.

Click the following links to view some photos from the day:

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RNC President, the honourable Mrs Jessica White, joined the RNC Charity Chief Executive, Lucy Proctor, in presenting the special awards, nominated by RNC staff members.

The awards were presented as follows:

The Mary Graff Award for the student who wrote an outstanding literary composition was presented by Jane Lush to Brandon Hulcoop

‘’This award commemorates Mary Graff, who taught A Level English Literature at RNC for many years – she was an expert in her field and unfailingly kind and cheerful. The award recognises the best creative response to a piece of literature, and this year’s winning entry is Brandon Hulcoop’s “Sweet Dreams”, a short story about what may – or may not – be a nightmarish situation.’

The Nigel Berry Prize for Significant Progress in Braille was presented by Elaine Vonberg to Emily Swinley

‘Despite battling against quite significant learning obstacles Emily always had a smile on her face and never gave up. She was so dedicated and determined to achieve her BTEC Level 1 Award she even arranged to stay on for an extra week, after their friends had left for the summer, to complete her final piece of evidence.’

RNC Award for Outstanding Progress in Mobility was presented by Helena Reed to Marla Hornbrook

‘Marla steadily developed confidence and achieved independent travel to local shops and is continuing to gain experience using local bus services. She is learning routes to shops of interest within Hereford city and now has the confidence to request assistance within shops when purchasing goods.’

RNC Award for Achievement in the Use of Information Technology presented by Teresa Allen to Robert Cummings

‘During his time within the IT Department, Robert gained Distinction, Merit, Merit in his BTEC IT. He achieved Functional Skills IT at both Level 1 and Level 2 and CISCO CCNA1 CCNA2.

He left RNC in the summer and we wish him well with his Technology Information Internship with the Thomas Pocklington Trust. We are sure he will make the most of this opportunity and be an asset to them.’

The Fatima Al-Muharrami Award for Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion was presented by Elaine Neate to Brandon Naylor

‘Brandon has been recognised for his work in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and has proven himself to be consistently well-informed, considerate and assertive. He has made the case for effective approaches to equality, celebrated the diversity of our student group and enlightened those who do not accept difference. He has shown empathetic support for others, giving them advice and guidance and explaining that being different is okay.’

The Award for Making the Most of Work Placement Opportunities was presented by Ged Friery to Jack Yare

‘Jack works with two climbing centres in Hereford and has made every effort to ensure that he is organised and independent in his preparation for work placements.

The feedback` he received from the employer said that he has been an absolute pleasure to have at the centre and he has cracked on with every task that was given him and that was despite his visual and hearing impairment. Jack has moulded with the centre’s team really well, which did not really surprise us as we know that Jack has a great personality and excellent people skills.’

The Award for Personal Development was presented by Jane Crabtree to Mahsa Babaei

‘As her lecturer, I can honestly say it was like watching a flower bloom… as soon as Mahsa found the therapeutic impact that she could have on her clients and the realisation that she could pass on such an incredible gift, she just shone. It was a pleasure to teach her – she just soaked up everything that we taught her. In just nine months Mahsa had completed all five of the Massage and Complementary Therapy qualifications – which is almost impossible – she just adored it!

From working with the Welsh Hockey Team to an event for carers – nothing ever fazed her. A true star with a great talent, who always has a smile on her face and deserves a very bright future.’

Following an address by RNC President, the honourable Mrs Jessica White, the recipient of the Principal’s Award was announced:

The Principal’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to College Life was presented by Lucy Proctor to David Parfett

Picture shows David Parfett, who collected the Principal’s Award

Following this award, Professor Tamar Thompson OBE, Chair of Governors, took to the stage to give a short address. Professor Thompson then announced the final award of the ceremony.

The Prince of Wales Prize for the person who made good use of their programme was presented by Chair of Governors, Professor Tamar Thompson OBE, to Ciaron Naughton

Picture shows Ciaron receiving his award from Professor Tamar Thompson OBE

To close the ceremony, student Hafsa Rafiq, Vice-Chair of the Student Representative Group, gave a vote of thanks to everyone that had attended the Celebration of Achievement and flowers were presented to Mrs White, Professor Thompson and the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Kath Hey.

If you are interested in finding out more about studying with us at RNC, call our student enquiries team on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk


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