An innovative and unique new Centre in the heart of London has been opened by the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), a national charity working with vision impaired children and young people.

RSBC has now moved into the new Richard Desmond Life Without Limits Centre, realising a dream to deliver a space dedicated to supporting blind and partially sighted children and their families.

The Centre, located within the iconic Northern & Shell building on the north bank of the River Thames near London Bridge, will be a hub for the work of the RSBC throughout England and Wales.

It has been designed by world-leading architects EPR Architects, who have transformed a previously unused lower ground floor into an inclusive, vibrant and engaging space for blind and partially sighted children, young people and their families.

The design and fit out of the Centre includes a media suite, an accessible kitchen, small meeting spaces for one-to-one support, and a large flexible space for group activities.

Children and young people will be supported to take part in activities both at the Centre and across England and Wales, with state-of-the art technology and virtual sessions. They will be able to engage in creative activities including song writing, making music, and writing poetry. The media suite will enable the children and young people to produce podcasts and other digital content, and in the accessible kitchen they will be able to have cookery sessions or cook-a-long via the live online sessions. The Centre also has a dedicated modern office space for RSBC’s staff.

Sue Sharp, the Society’s CEO said: “We’re excited to be welcoming the children, young people and families to the Life Without Limits Centre and introducing them to its incredible new facilities. It was always our ambition to create a space that was designed especially for blind and partially sighted children and young people – a space where they can come together to share their hopes and experiences, and where we can support them to develop their skills and confidence to pursue their dreams and ambitions.”

“All of us at RSBC have seen how the lives of blind and partially sighted children and young people can be transformed with the right support. We believe that The Richard Desmond Life Without Limits Centre delivers on that ambition and provides the infrastructure to enable us to support many more to achieve their dreams.”

“We’re immensely grateful to the team at Northern and Shell and, in particular, their Chairman, Richard Desmond for making the space available, and to him and the many other donors and professionals who have generously given their money, time and expertise to create this truly remarkable space, and for helping to make change in the lives of blind children and young people. It has been a huge collective effort and we owe an immense debt of gratitude to every one of them.”