Meet the children of the Every Blind Child campaign
At the core of our Every Blind Child campaign is a group of partially sighted children who inspired artist Robert Montgomery's commissioned artwork. The children worked with Robert Montgomery to create a touring light poem and video installation to show the nation that blind children have the same dreams and potential as anyone else.
Alisdair, age 11
Alasdair’s biggest passion is football, although he likes all things sport. He is a club representative at football, cricket and badminton. He loves to read and can often be seen reading up to three books at any one time. He loves to draw and build masterpieces in Minecraft, from Roman baths to modern cities.
Alasdair’s dad, Lee, says, “Alasdair is a determined young man who is quick witted and very articulate. He has a smile that lights up any room and is very caring of his friends and family. He is charming and charismatic. He has always talked of two professions either a professional footballer or an entrepreneur like Richard Branson or Elon Musk - but bigger and better!!”
Alasdair was registered as partially sighted in May 2017. He suffered a brain haemorrhage in July 2016 whilst at school which led to a stroke. One of the impacts of the stroke is that he has lost the peripheral vision in his left eye. Alasdair’s sight loss has had a big emotional impact on him. Occasionally he will become upset because he has not been able to participate in sport in the way that he did previously.
His determined approach to life and his refusal to be treated differently to others means that it has not impacted him academically. Teachers are aware of his condition and have ensured that his position in classrooms is such that he is not disadvantaged. Whether or not he can return to his beloved football in the future is the thing that is likely to have the biggest impact emotionally as a result of his vision impairment.
Bradley, age 13
Bradley was born with cone dystrophy and nystagmus, but was only given a proper diagnosis a couple of years ago. In 2016 RSBC supported Bradley to get through a gruelling trial to eventually make it to the FA England under 13s (part of the FA’s Disability Talent Programme). This was a fantastic achievement that takes him a step closer to his dream of one day playing professionally. Football is both a passion and an outlet for Bradley, who is at an age when he is finding his sight loss difficult to accept. He just wants to blend in and be like his friends.
Brianna, age 8
Brianna has albinism and is registered partially sighted. She is a bright, sociable child who would love to be an author, a teacher or a restaurant owner one day. Brianna attends mainstream primary and is doing well in class, reaching all her targets.
She has become much more aware of her sight loss over the last couple of years and the fact that she has different needs to her classmates. She has one to one support in class and someone to observe her in the playground. Brianna has also expressed an interest in modelling to her parents and is "keen to show her beauty to the world".
Harry, age 10
Harry is the youngest of four brothers, all of whom are diagnosed with inherited Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). Harry’s sight has deteriorated a lot over the last two years and he now has just a small amount of central vision. He loves to bake cakes at the weekends and would one day like to open a pizza restaurant. He is very sociable and has lots of friends.
Primary school has been a rough road and Harry has just started at a fourth school, where he is finally getting the right level of support. He feels down sometimes and the reality of his situation is starting to hit him. For example, he is extremely upset that he’ll never drive a Lamborghini.
Isaac, age 6
Isaac has a great sense of humour and is very chatty. He loves books, riding his bike and playing with his friends. His favourite place to visit is the London Transport Museum. He adores buses and trains and has told his mum that he would one day like to design the world’s fastest aeroplane.
Isaac has lost the central vision in both eyes due to a form of eye cancer he had as a baby. His mum, Selam, worries about him playing rough with his friends at school, but wants him to explore and feels he can do everything his friends do.
Keira, age 11
Keira lives with her mum, dad and big brother Joshua. She is described by her mum, Belinda, as “funny, beautiful and brilliant.” One of her biggest passions are animals, especially her own cockapoo, who she adores.
Keira has talked about being “a salon girl” when she grows up, probably because Belinda owns a hairdressing and beauty business. As a baby, Keira had a stroke which triggered her sight loss as well as epilepsy.
Keira copes extremely well with her vision impairment and has recently started using a cane, which she has found a real boost to her mobility and confidence. She has a close circle of friends at school and despite a couple of tricky phases at primary school she has had brilliant support from her learning assistant and has made friends fairly easily.
Kieran, age 11
Kieran has a genetic eye condition called Stargardt disease, which means he is severely sight impaired. It was at a routine optician’s appointment when he was 9, when the problems at the back of his eyes were first detected. Despite significant loss to his central vision, Kieran has coped incredibly well.
His mum Charlene has been really open with Kieran about the fact that his sight will carry on getting worse and he is so determined not to let it bring him down. As a family, they do a lot to create as many visual memories for Kieran as they can, going on lots of trips and holidays wherever possible. Kieran loves music and has recently taken up drumming lessons. His favourite band is Imagine Dragons. Charlene says, “For as long as I can remember Kieran has said he wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up, but recently he said he might not be able to do that because of his sight.”
Sasha, age 9
Sasha has albinism, nystagmus, astigmatism, photophobia and strabismus and is registered partially sighted. Sasha has talked about wanting to be a fashion designer when she grows up. Her Mum Alison, who used to work in London in the fashion industry, is completely confident that with support, Sasha can achieve her dreams.
Youssef, age 13
Youssef is a bright, articulate and kind-hearted boy. He loves to draw and is learning to play the piano and guitar. He lives in East Ham with his mum, dad, and younger brother and sister.
Youssef has a diagnosis of glaucoma, which he has had since birth. Glaucoma leads to increased pressure behind the eyes, which is compounded by the demands of his studies at school. Youssef was also born with cataracts in both eyes, for which he received surgery within just a few weeks of his birth. This restored just a little of his sight in one eye. With severely impaired sight, Youssef needs to use a cane to get around at school, but he has been bullied quite a lot by his peers and has been reluctant to use it.
Despite the struggles he faces socially at school, he is a happy boy and has really embraced all the opportunities he has been offered through RSBC and in particular the sports activities such as swimming, which he loves.
Find out more and get involved
- Sign up to our newsletter below for updates on RSBC and the Every Blind Child campaign.
- Visit the artwork on tour to see Robert Montgomery's light poem and step inside the vehicle to hear the children share their dreams and stories.
- Donate to our appeal to make sure that #EveryBlindChild can be seen by an RSBC Sight Loss Specialist, and given a fair chance to reach their potential. Text “LEARN” to 70025 now to donate £5* or visit our donate online page.
* You will be charged £5, plus your standard network rate. 100% of your donation will go to RSBC. By texting, you are agreeing for RSBC to phone or text you to tell you about our work and how you can help. If you wish to donate and not hear from us again, text NOCALL RSBC on 78866. Registered Charity No. 307892. For more information call 020 3198 0225.