Heart of Gold
Every now and then a story leaps out of your computer screen and touches the heart. This is one of them.
Steven Ramsdale joined the Royal National College for the Blind Hereford (RNC) as a Business Studies Lecturer in 1995 and has worked with his students in Young Enterprise programmes for 19 years.
Steven’s believes that RNC students should be defined by their abilities, rather than any disability. His infectious ‘CAN DO’ ethos shines through to the Young Enterprise staff, volunteers and his students. Under his guidance RNC students compete in the full Young Enterprise Company Programme and have won many awards over the years.
For Steven it’s not just about the awards; it is the start of a journey for each year group. He expects the motivated students to go on to gain full degrees in Business Management and become inspirational leaders in business and the community in their own right. He challenges RNC students to take on life’s challenges, set goals and be independent.
In 2011 the RNC team made their presentation with notes in braille. In the words of one member of the audience that day; “The other groups were blown away and had huge admiration for them. It changed perceptions in all of us”
Some examples of past RNC Young Enterprise students and where they are now:
- 1995 student – HR manager Lloyds Bank City Of London
- 1996 student – Manager at Blind In Business
- 1998 student – Equality and Diversity Manager – Civil Service
- 2008 student – Owner of T Shirt Printing Business and won Pride of Herefordshire (Journal) Learner of the Year 2008
- 2010 student – Runs a difficult (youth offenders etc) young person training company using rap techniques to engage and learn
- 2010 student – Launching a mobility and livings skills company
The Young Enterprise programme lets students explore and build resilience and problem solving in a safe environment; vital skills for further education and the world of work. Visually Impaired (VI) groups at RNC have difficulty with making and transporting products and materials due to lack of sight. They especially find it difficult meeting tight deadlines. They also do not have much family support, because their families are spread around the UK. Some of the students have learning difficulties on top of sight loss.
RNC students have shown these qualities in abundance over the years being 3 Herefordshire Area Winners three times, and runners up a further three times! On top of this are awards for Marketing, Team Work, Business Presentations and many more.
Over 19 years Steven Ramsdale has taught his students self-reliance, confidence, resilience and business acumen. They have gone on to lead fulfilled lives and the Young Enterprise Gold Award 2014 in some small way recognises the leadership and futures that Steven has given to RNC students that were lucky enough to have been in his care. Thank you Steven from all at Young Enterprise.
Kirsty Sockett Senior Young Enterprise Manager Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry and Warwickshire says:
“Steven Ramsdale has been a remarkable Link Teacher for the Royal National College for the Blind for 18 years and during this time his students have benefitted enormously from his support and guidance which has enabled them to gain so many skills while taking part in the Company Programme. During his 18 years Steve’s students have won many coveted awards but probably more importantly many have gone on to get Business Management Degrees and have started their own businesses.”