We Can – Devon girls take the reins at RNC

Left to right – Laura, Tiri and Mary are sitting on a sofa together in the student bistro, smiling at the camera

It’s election time at RNC and, after a student vote, we can reveal that the top positions in the student representative group have been awarded to three girls; and they’re all from Devon! Tiri Hughes, Mary Waterer and Laura Eggins have been awarded the roles of Chair, Vice Chair and Student Governor, respectively. RNC Principal Mark Fisher says “I am delighted that RNC students have elected Tiri, Mary and Laura- I don’t think we’ve ever had a board led by three females. It’s great that they’re interested in the development of the College and together we can make a real difference.”


Tiri delivers her speech at Vision 2020 conference. She is standing on stage behind a podium talking into a microphone. There is a photographer standing in front of the stage taking photos of her.

Student Chair, Tiri Hughes, speaking at Vision 2020 Conference

17 year old Tiri Hughes from Ivybridge is no stranger to the spotlight, having been an ambassador for various other visual impairment charities such as RNIB, Blind Children UK, Vision and British Blind Sport, among others. In 2013 Tiri addressed an audience in the House of Commons before the Children and Families bill was passed, she says “I think that the experiences I have had in the past have prepared me well for this sort of role; representing other people.”


Tiri’s mother, Laura Hughes, started a charity called Moorvision in 2007, which provides information in a supportive environment for families affected by visual impairment in Devon. Through her involvement with Moorvision and other charities, Tiri explains “I already knew a lot of RNC students before I came here and I really enjoy talking to people; being approachable is really important for my role of Student Chair. It’s important for people to be able to put forward their ideas and concerns and I like to think that people can talk to me and know that something will be done.”


Close up image of Mary sitting on a chair, smiling into the camera

Vice Chair, Mary Waterer

18 year old Mary Waterer from Seaton was elected as Vice Chair and states “I’ve never had the chance to take charge of anything before and when I told my parents I got the Vice Chair position they were really, really happy but warned me how much responsibility it would be; I am definitely ready for the challenge!” Mary goes on to say what she thinks of the College “I can’t describe the difference between my old school and RNC – I love it here! There is such a relaxed atmosphere, some staff have VI so know what you’re going through and you are treated like a young adult.”


Second year Laura Eggins from Yelverton was the face of RNC’s first national campaign; I Can, which is a celebration of what our students can do, not what they can’t. Laura’s message was ‘I Can have a voice’ and last year she addressed an audience of over 200 people at the MACS conference, admitting “Before RNC I never would have got up and spoken in front of an audience. My parents always comment on how much I’ve changed since being at RNC and I definitely feel more confident. I wanted to be Student Governor to give something back to the College for all the support I’ve been given.” Mark Fisher, who also coaches Laura in the RNC Bulldogs VI Cricket team says “I can’t believe how much Laura has grown in confidence since being at RNC. When I first met her she was so shy and now she can talk for England!”

Laura sits on the floor smiling, as she holds a mega phone in front of her face. The slogan on the left reads ‘I Can have a voice’ and below that there is a quote from Laura which says “Now that I have found my self confidence I feel able to express myself as an individual.”

Student Governor, Laura Eggins












If you are interested in finding out more about RNC, you can call our student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk


Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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