When Phillips met Blunkett

RNC student Kyle is sitting on a chair, beside David Blunkett; there is a coffee table with a jug of water on it separating the two of them. They are in the Chapel performance studio with purple brick wall in the background.

We are honoured to be hosting a live broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, which airs tonight at 8pm. Among the guests will be Lord David Blunkett, former Education Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary as well as a former student with us here at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC).


We look back to the last time Lord Blunkett came to visit us in the summer of 2015 when he volunteered to be the face of our national I Can awareness campaign, celebrating what students with visual impairment can do instead of focussing on what they can’t do. As part of Lord Blunkett’s I Can campaign, he was interviewed by Audio Media Production student Kyle Phillips (Watch the video at the bottom of this page).  Upon completion of his course, Kyle said “My biggest achievement was interviewing David Blunkett – there are so many opportunities to get involved in real projects as work based learning is a major part of the course.”


At RNC we are proud to boast our arts and media centre, known as The Chapel, comprising of 2 performance spaces as well as recording studios for audio and video production. The Chapel is where the Phillips and Blunkett interview took place and Centre Manager Paul Read says “Not a lot of people know that there is recording space here in Hereford, it’s an amazing facility and gives our students a real insight into what working in the media industry is really like. We have done a lot of work with the local community including Hereford Art College as well as an anti-bullying video in association with local St Paul’s Primary School entitled 500 smiles which we are proud to say received a lot of positive press.”


Teacher in Charge of Arts and Media at RNC, Graham Wilde, goes on to say “Traditionally, the way people get into the media industry is by learning the skills and working their way up and the qualification solidifies their learning. I know from personal experience that having a visual impairment means that our students are already at a disadvantage and by gaining as much vocational experience as they can, they are building skills and experience which employers will want in the future.”


At The Chapel, we are always keen to hear from more groups and organisations who may be interested in using our facilities, Graham Wilde explains “We work hard to create a structure and a format for our students and they just need new acts to work with, whether it be local schools, up and coming bands or even just interviews.”

If you are interested in finding out more, please call our Chapel Team on 01432 376 320 for an informal chat or email info@rnc.ac.uk



Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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