World’s biggest coffee morning

Ben, Lydia and Yash are standing behind the stall, smiling at the camera. There are lots of different cakes laid out on the table in front of them.

Today, students and staff at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) took part in the world’s biggest coffee morning in association with Macmillan cancer charity. The aim of the event is for people to get together with friends, colleagues and fellow students to sit down together, have a coffee and eat cake while raising money for charity.


The event was organised by our students on the ASPIRE programme. (ASPIRE is a foundation course which concentrates on Achievement for Social, Personal and Independence, Responsibility for future Employment and/or Education). This is the first event that the ASPIRE team have organised this year and enables students to get involved in the process of planning and delivering of an event.


Skills for Life Teacher Paul Sockett explains “Some of our ASPIRE students have never done anything like this before and they’re learning to work together in a methodical way. We have assigned different roles to people and have regular team meetings with a formal agenda where we allocate actions to people– lots of our students have never encountered something like this before and it gives them an idea of how things work in the real world.”


Students have been involved in the process from the beginning which includes buying ingredients, baking cakes in the kitchen, setting up the displays and serving people on the day. 16 year old Lydia Mapley from Reading says “I was on the stall serving people, I’d seen other people do it before and it was something I really wanted to try. I really enjoyed it.”


17 year old Yash Perekh from London helped set up the stall on the day and explains “I really enjoyed the experience, I was involved in a lot of the planning and I’ve learned that the importance of team work, making sure that you involve others in what you do.”


The aim of the ASPIRE programme is for its students to develop skills that can be transferred to their work and home life when they leave RNC. This includes every day skills such as communication, team work, literacy and numeracy. Paul Sockett goes on to say “A lot of our students have never had to initiate things but here they are given a voice, they are listened to and they are encouraged to make decisions. Charity events are about looking at people’s different needs and involves the students looking beyond their own circumstances and taking the time to empathise with others which gives them a deeper understanding of the people, and the world, around them.”


If you are interested in finding out more about how you can develop your skills at RNC, please call our student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email


Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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