The Academy Award winning actress's career has spanned over half a century with roles such as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love and M in the Bond films, leading her to become one of Britain's best-loved actresses. In 2012 Dame Judi was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common condition that affects the middle part of your vision in later life. Age-related macular degeneration is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 people. Dame Judi has previously shared how her vision loss has impacted her life; she has had to find other ways for learning lines and can no longer read books. She is hoping that by supporting Calibre she will be able to bring the world of reading to as many people as possible who cannot access printed books.
Calibre Audio is the only national charity in the UK to provide a completely free for life audiobook service to anyone who has a disability that makes reading print difficult. Their 15,000+ members have conditions such as dyslexia, a visual or cognitive impairment or any other health condition that makes reading the printed word difficult or impossible, such as multiple sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Parkinson's and arthritis. Calibre exists to connect members to books in the format they require, delivering 1,700 books per day via streaming, download and memory sticks - providing stimulation, companionship, learning and escape. Calibre is delighted to have Dame Judi on board and is looking forward to an exciting future working together.
Speaking of the announcement, Anthony Kemp, CEO of Calibre Audio said: “We are thrilled that Dame Judi shares our belief that everyone should be able to experience the joy of reading without the barrier of disability, and with Dame Judi's support we hope to reach even more people, so that everyone who would really benefit from accessing our audiobooks knows how to find us.”
Dame Judi said: “I am delighted to have been invited to be a Patron of such a worthwhile charity. Their dedication and passion for making the joy of reading available to all is something I wholeheartedly support. Without charities such as Calibre, those dealing with sight loss or other conditions such as dyslexia are denied the opportunity to read - a pleasure that most of us take for granted.”