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Emergency funding for RNC during the pandemic
The College is extremely grateful to a range of trusts and foundations that have helped see the Charity through the dark days of the pandemic over the last 15 months.
The Charity has had to absorb substantial extra costs due to the pandemic and its associated restrictions but grants totalling more than £110,000 have provided vital financial support.
'We faced a double hit as we lost income from needing to close thePoint4 sports facilities for two extended periods and we were unable to take hire bookings', explains Executive Principal, Lucy Proctor.
'Alongside this, major unbudgeted spend included ongoing PPE, IT costs such as individual laptops and associated tech for every student and extra equipment onsite such as a Braille printer. These were required after creating three distinct household bubbles in College that couldn't mix in communal areas. We also needed extra staffing such as cover for Covid-related absences, extra cleaning and residential staff.'
The Charity received two larger grants: one from The National Lottery's Community Fund and another from the Foyle Foundation, totalling almost £90,000. It also received grants totalling £16,000 from another trust, wishing to remain anonymous, enabling a much needed upgrade to smart TVs in all of the residential halls where students, inevitably, have spent a lot more time during lockdowns, as well as individual laptops for students.
Awards for All (also part of the National Lottery Community Fund) has also recently awarded £10,000 towards the purchase of a new specialist sports hall sweeper at thePoint4, enabling staff to maintain an efficient, effective and speedy turnaround time for cleaning the very large sports hall, vital to keep enhanced cleaning protocols during the ongoing pandemic.
'This will protect all of our users including RNC's own students who use the hall for goalball (played lying down on the floor) and blind football,' explains Lucy. Tackling Inequalities Fund funded the purchase of additional protective kit for goalball and blind football so that students aren't sharing (and therefore potentially excluded from playing) and we had several smaller grants which supported PPE, IT purchases and other pandemic-related costs.
'All of this funding helped cushion us against some of the worst financial effects of the pandemic and has meant we were able to purchase equipment and PPE without delay, avoiding teaching disruption and, vitally keeping everyone safe on site,' says Lucy.
'So we would like to thank our funders from the bottom of our hearts, on behalf of our visually impaired students (as well as our staff) who have faced many obstacles throughout the pandemic but have managed to overcome them brilliantly.'
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