Creative skills rewarded at RNC

Juan, accompanied by Guide Dog Wilma, receives his award from RNC Director of Learning Nicola Smith

There were congratulations all round for literary genius Juan Greggor who was presented with the Mary Graff Award at the recent Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) ‘Celebration of Achievement’ event.


The Mary Graff Award is presented to the student with the best creative response to literature. Mary Graff, an expert in her field, taught A level English Literature at RNC for many years. Juan received a cheque for £150, a prize kindly donated by Colin Graff in memory of his wife.


Juan, who is originally from the Isle of Man, is studying A Levels in English Literature, Psychology, Media Studies, alongside mobility and independent living skills at the leading independent specialist college based in Hereford. He was delighted to receive the award: “When my English tutor told me I’d won the Mary Graff award I was stunned. Writing the story came without much trouble as I’ve always had an active and elaborate imagination. I thought it was good, but I didn’t expect it to win. I’m thrilled.”


Paul Green, one of the judges, a published writer and friend of the College, commented, “Making a judgement about literary texts is notoriously difficult, especially when some of the texts are in different genres. Juan showed a flair for language, a grasp of narrative and an insight into characterisation. He truly deserved this award.”


Judges felt that Juan’s work was the most ambitious, fully developed and sustained piece of all the works submitted, a real credit to Juan’s writing skills.


RNC’s highly specialist teaching and support teams ensure students are given the opportunity to live and learn on an equal footing to their sighted peers, building their confidence to achieve their qualifications and life goals.  Juan is certainly a great example of how much students can achieve independently when allowed to flourish in the right environment.


Article written by Anika Backhouse, PR, Publications & Outreach Officer at RNC


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