We want to bring joy to visually impaired

Founder is a highly respected educationalist

Sightbox founder Dr John A Patterson was originally an engineer and retrained as a teacher. Working in Merseyside he was seconded onto an Objective One programme to write innovative projects to raise educational standards across a Merseyfootprint. This secured a Senior Lecturer position at Liverpool Hope University lecturing on teacher education pathways as head of Physical Education and secondments to teach on Masters courses attached to entrepreneurial learning. He has secured an MSc and PhD connected to social capital, service- learning volunteerism and curriculum design and is internationally published in this field.

Invited to apply for the Principal position at St.Vincent's Dr Patterson was part of the initial schools based 'Schools Direct' teacher training model and secured delivery of a schools based teacher training model for the mandatory qualification needed to be a teacher of the blind (MQTVI). St.Vincent's has been consistently graded across school and residential as 'Outstanding' by HM Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and has received recognition by the High Sheriff of Liverpool award, the Freedom of the City of Liverpool and by a Liverpool John Moores University Corporate Award. School is a directly licenced centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Dr Patterson was the Charter President of Rotary, Liverpool St. Vincent's and serves on the Catholic Independent Schools board with a disability lead.

Book Dr. Patterson for an event/conference

To book Dr John Patterson for an event or conference please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone +44 151 228 9968.

There are a number of ideas under development which are part of St. Vincent's 'enriched curriculum' incuding most recently the 'I Rugby ball' supported by the Gubay Foundation. Contact school if you wish to be involved in research and innovation.

We gift freely...

1. Sightbox

Sightbox is intended for a group of pupils and is to be attached to a surrounding and supportive curriculum provided by St. Vincent's staff and pupils designed to engage creativity and link to innovation and enterprise

It includes:

  • Goalball
  • Boccia Grid
  • Boccia Balls
  • Running Tethers
  • Blindfolds
  • Various Other Balls
  • Ball Pump

2. Sightpack

Sightpack is intended for an individual pupil to foster independence and as a stepping stone into a surrounding and supportive Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum in collaboration with St. Vincent's staff and pupils

It includes:

  • Sound Ball
  • Talking Stopwatch
  • Running Line
  • Talking Pedometer

Other innovations

As a hub for VI teaching and learning, research and innovation, St. Vincent's is constantly engaging new ideas for the sightbox itself and the surrounding curriculum. At present we are developing an 'I-rugby ball' with the Gubay Foundation and in collaboration with Stonyhurst College. We will keep you updated on new ideas on Twitter @SightboxUK.

Get involved

If you are an individual looking to find likeminded people wishing to get active in supporting visually impaired young people in the UK and or overseas or a Rotary club , a school, Scouts or Guides, Duke of Edinburgh pupils or indeed a group of individuals wishing to volunteer and serve get in touch with us at SIGHTBOX (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) there are a myriad of ways we can help you engage your 'human capital' i.e. your knowledge, skills and understanding to make the measurable outcomes we seek a reality i.e. friendship groups and routes to employment for and with visually impaired. It is all the small acts together which make the big things happen.

In partnership with...

St. Vincent's School, Liverpool, UK


St. Vincent's is a non-maintained residential specialist school for visually impaired pupils aged 5 to 19. The school delivers the National Curriculum, mobility and independence teaching and learning but simultaneously an 'enriched' and creative curriculum to signpost individual pupil strengths towards employability and meaningful engagement.

St. Vincent's School logo

"As a Governor of St. Vincent's , the incoming President of Rotary St. Vincent's and a qualified teacher I took one of the first Sightboxes to Pakistan seeing the impact first hand. I look forwards to seeing more sent out and more ideas created from pupils at St. Vincent's and beyond"

Alam Nawaz Alam Nawaz, St. Vincent's School's Governor

Rotary Club, Liverpool, UK


We are in collaboration with Rotary Club of St. Vincent's based in Liverpool, UK.


"Having taken one of the first boxes to Pakistan I am eager to see more follow around the World where we can help children access sports, friendship groups and education. Collaborating with the Pakistan Multicultural (PAL) centre in Liverpool where I am a member I believe we can achieve our goals. This has been enhanced via sponsoring the satellite club of Rotary Toxteth"

Humayun Mirza Humayun Mirza, President of Rotary St.Vincent's (2017 - 2018)

Duke of Edinburgh

Duke of Edinburgh logo

We have supported individual creativity with the Duke of Edinburgh Award where St. Vincent's is a directly licenced centre with a disability lead.

Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Liverpool, and Xi'an Jiaotong University

Liverpool Hope Uni, LJMU, Uni of Liverpool, and Xi'an Jiaotong University logo

St. Vincent's school works with both student placements and SERVICE- LEARNING volunteers from both Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moores University where the SIGHTBOX is used as a medium for sharing innovative best practice and encourage content designs.

St. Vincent's works with University of Liverpool and the Confucius Institute who provide a teacher of Mandarin as part of our 'enriched' curriculum and is part of a memorandum of understanding signed between St. Vincent's and Xi'an Jiaotong University in China to share educational best practice via the SIGHTBOX.

Catholic Independent Schools network (CISC)

Catholic Independent Schools Conference (CISC) logo

We collaborate with the Catholic Independent Schools network (CISC) as part of joining a vision of the 'common good'.


Merseyside Scouts logo

St. Vincent's has its own VI Scout troop and is gratefully supported by the Merseyside Scouting Family.

Awards & recognition

Freedom of City (Liverpool)

In April 2016 St. Vincent's School was admitted to the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions of the City of Liverpool (Freedom of the City) at the Town Hall. Specific refererence was made to the role of SIGHTBOX as a Rotary project within the recognition.

The High Sherrif Award

In April 2014 St. Vincent's was awarded a High Sheriff Award as one of Liverpools 'hidden gems' in proving everyone has a future. The role of SIGHTBOX as a Rotary project was made specific in the acceptance.

Liverpool John Moores University's Corporate Award

In July 2017 St. Vincent's School was awarded a Corporate Award from Liverpool John Moores University for its local, national and international work and vision. Specific mention of SIGHTBOX and Rotary was made within the citation and acceptance.

Read LJMU's citation in presenting St Vincent's School for the Blind and Partially Sighted for a Corporate Award

Watch LJMU's Graduation Ceremony of 2017 (our clip starts at 41.40 minute)

Contact us

Please read the frequently asked questions for answers to common queries prior to contacting us. Thank you.


St. Vincent's School
Yew Tree Lane
West Derby
L12 9HN
United Kingdom


+44 151 228 9968


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (via St. Vincent's School)

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