Lots of parents and students feel anxious about coming to RNC for the first time – especially if the student has never stayed away from home independently before. You can always go home at weekends if you want to providing your home town is close enough and you have a safe method of travel to get there (a parent coming to collect you etc). It is also very important to talk to residential staff in advance so they are aware that you might be going home and of your whereabouts in general. Students who are under 18 are not permitted to stay away overnight without an arrangement between the residential manager and parents/guardians.
We find that once students make friends and get used to being at RNC though, they much prefer to stay on campus at the weekends because there are so many opportunities to get involved in arranged activities.
Some students do go and visit friends or go in to Hereford at the weekends for coffee, lunch or to go shopping. Our mobility team ‘signs off’ students to say they can safely undertake such trips out. Once our team and the students themselves are confident that they can safely head off into town then there is no reason why they shouldn’t go out and about. Again, more rigorous safeguarding rules apply to vulnerable students and those who are under 18.
Almost everyone gets a little bit homesick when they move to a new place but our residential team are available 24 hours a day. That means you can call our staff or go to the residential manager’s office and someone will be available for a chat and a cup of tea. There might also be biscuits available too if you are lucky!
Night times can sometimes feel lonely but there is always someone there for you at any time of the day or night. If you are feeling poorly then you can call the residential team or go to their office and they will help you. If you are very poorly they may call the nurse to come and visit you.
RNC is proud to offer a wide variety food to cater for nearly all tastes with a rolling three-week menu so you won’t be eating the same thing every day. The bistro offers meals at lunch times and in the evenings which consist of a meat version and vegetarian. Vegan and halal options are also available on request. The team can also cater for those with specific allergies. Most meals include light options or a larger meal with desserts!
If you still don’t fancy the food on offer, we have another catering outlet on campus called ‘The Pod’ which offers sandwiches, soups and jacket potatoes. There is also Costa coffee on site. This option has to be paid for independently. We have some vending machines around the campus if you prefer a snack. Failing all that, our students have been known to order the odd takeaway!
It is ok if you change your mind and decide that you don’t like your course. In the first instance you should talk to your tutor or one of our academic directors to help you decide on the next steps.
Parents are welcome to visit you and enjoy a day out. You just need to let our residential team know that you are off out. For parents who are travelling from further afield, our marketing and recruitment team can offer advice on the best places to stay nearby. People from outside the college are not allowed to stay in student’s rooms.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space for parents and siblings to stay on campus during term time but we do have a list of great recommendations for cost-effective places to stay in the local area. We can also advise on the best places to eat and things to do.
Moving to a residential college is a big step when you have always lived at home with your family. It will take time to adjust and get used to living in halls of residence. Don’t forget there will be a lot of other students who are feeling exactly the same as you so the first few weeks at RNC will be all about making sure you can find your way, making friends and adjusting to college life. If, after a few weeks, you still feel unsure then you can talk to your tutor, residential support officers, our counsellor, or our director of student services for additional support.
Nearly everyone gets lost at some point during the first few weeks at College and that includes new staff too! One of the first things that will happen during your induction week is that you will be given important phone numbers for various key members of staff. If you did feel that you are lost and unsure then you just need to call our staff and they will come and get you.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept pets at RNC apart from guide dogs and assistance dogs provided they are fully trained and accredited by one of the member organisations of Assistance Dogs UK.
Students are actively encouraged to keep in touch with family at home. In this day and age keeping in touch is so easy and inexpensive. Don’t forget parents and guardians do worry when their young person is away at College so it is always good just to check in and let them know you are ok.
If you know you have problems remembering to take meds then it is important to mention this to our residential managers in advance so they can help you put together a plan to help you remember. If you have already forgotten then speak to a member of the residential teams and/or one of our nurses in the health centre so they can advise you further.
Don't worry, accidents happen! The most important thing is that you make our residential team aware so they can clean up or get things fixed.
RNC is a little bit different to the schools or colleges you may have attended especially if you have previously attended a mainstream school. All RNC students have at least one thing in common, and that is their visual impairment! That means your peers will really understand some of the difficult situations you may have faced in the past – it is likely that they have had similar experiences too.
Because of this, our students tend to make firm friendships pretty fast plus most of our young people tend to be pretty welcoming and accepting of new students.
RNC has a student-centric leadership team which means our students have a lot of say in how the College is run. Our student ambassadors and student council are always happy to listen to suggestions for new activities so if you don’t like what’s on offer or you have something else in mind then please let us know.
Most things are paid for through funding or paid in advance. That means you can eat three meals a day without spending any extra so you will never go hungry. However, if you are buying takeaways, snacks and coffees you might want to talk to your parents/guardians to agree how much you are allowed to spend in advance! Our independent living skills team can also incorporate budgeting into your life skills if needed.
Part of our extensive assessment process includes analysing the level of support required by each individual. Our students well-being is paramount so throughout the process we like to get to know our young people in advance. Only then can we ensure their needs are met appropriately.
Our students tend to be very supportive towards each other so bullying and disagreements are rare.
Occasionally there are situations where staff will step in to help students find a solution.
No, the accommodation is mixed but individual requests can be taken into consideration by our residential team.
The College can supply bedding and towels if requested, toilet paper, washing up liquid in the kitchens and breakfast food.
Students are expected to bring washing items such as soap and shampoo, laundry tablets and other personal items.
If a student runs out then our team can help support them (if needed) to go to the local shops.
If a student is unwell, then there are nurses on site to help and advise. For very rare serious situations, the College is situated less than a mile away from Hereford hospital.
Our medical team advise students to register temporarily with a local doctor during their time at RNC. The College also has an ophthalmologist visit the campus on average once a term. If students have concerns around their eye condition they can book an appointment. In an emergency, students would be taken to Hereford Hospital which is less than a mile from the campus.
Students are welcome to return home for appointments with their own eye specialist. If it is not possible for them to arrange an appointment during holidays or in half term we recommend that appointments are booked either on a Friday or a Monday if possible so the student doesn’t miss too much.
As part of our assessment process we like to get to know every student in advance so we have a strong indication of the type of support each individual will need. In some cases we may even arrange for particularly vulnerable students to be sharing the same wing of our halls of residence so they can make friends with other young people who are at a similar stage in their development.
While we can help with some levels of support, we may not be able to actively administer medication. To determine the levels of support required we undertake a rigorous assessment process. If a student has particularly complex medical needs we may request that they return for an extended assessment. This will help the student and our team to determine if they can be supported effectively at RNC.
No-one fails at the assessment process. The aim is for us to determine levels of support needed but also for students to establish if RNC is the right place for them. On the rare occasions we discover that RNC would not be able to offer the help and support required then we signpost the student and parents to an alternative setting that would be better suited to their needs.
Accessibility Cookies Privacy