Former Student Going for Gold

Andrew diving, facing the camera in full wet suit, breathing apparatus and goggles, surrounded by fish

Recently we heard from former student, Andrew Fleet, who studied, amongst other things, IT and Braille at RNC from 2015 – 2017.

Andrew, originally from Suffolk, sent us an email to let us know what he’s been up to since leaving RNC and from what he says here, he is the epitome of what RNC sets out to do in terms of ‘Education, Employment and Empowerment’.

Andrew wrote:

When I first started at RNC back in September 2015 I was such a different person. I was very immature and the thought of growing up and maturing just frightened me. But, after my first term, things in my life were starting to change. I had people, staff and students alike, giving me opportunities to grow as a person and bit by bit my outlook on life started to change.

I began to realise that there was a small glimmer of hope out there for visually impaired people and this continued to my very last day in 2017 at this fantastic College. From that point, I hit the ground running. First stop was to get a job and from leaving college on the Friday I walked into a job on the Monday. 

Unfortunately, months later the partial collapse of my employer saw my job axed overnight along with hundreds of others. But RNC had taught me to ‘be resilient and persistent’. I put this into practice and found another job, part-time at Waitrose. I have now been at Waitrose approaching three years and have enhanced my hours to full time and can honestly say I still get out of bed five days a week with a smile on my face.

In the last three years I have also taken on another job alongside my full time job with an IT firm in the capital as an accessibility QA. I have started my own business in the graphic design field and we are rapidly approaching our first year end of trading – it’s been a hell of a year and we have even made a profit.

Another important thing to mention, is that I have started working towards my Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award after being inspired by no other than the fantastic Barry Morris. Barry worked with me and never gave up when I was working on my Silver at College. Still a long way to go but, hopefully, within twelve months I should be the proud owner of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award after starting my Bronze around six years ago. 

Andrew wearing a life jacket and helmet after enjoying some waterspouts

I’m very happy to announce that I use my now found confidence every day and in everything I do. It’s lead me to signing up to run a Spartan Sprint Obstacle Race in June in the Brecon Beacons with a close friend of mine and something I definitely wouldn’t have had the confidence to do if it wasn’t for going to RNC.

So, the only thing left for me to say is ‘Thank You!’. It has been a real pleasure being able to attend RNC and meet the fantastic, dedicated staff who I had the honour of working alongside. I have one request though, please share this message: 

‘Stand up each day and take on the world, put sight loss to one side because every person has something to offer.’

If reading Andrew’s story has inspired you and you would like more information on the courses we offer or how to make an application, please email info@rnc.ac.uk

 

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