Sight loss in the spotlight: Taking Centre Stage

Dame Judi Dench has described how she continues to work with deteriorating eyesight at an exclusive and intimate online event with Stephen Fry and Hayley Mills for the Vision Foundation. Dame Judi explained how she has learnt to adapt as her eyesight has changed in recent years:

“You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things you find very difficult. I’ve had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over again. So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!”

Taking Centre Stage, an exclusive free virtual event brought three of the biggest names in show business together to launch the Centenary Appeal and 100th anniversary celebrations of the Vision Foundation, one of the favourite charities of the great actor Sir John Mills.  The evening celebrated Sir John’s long life with his daughter Hayley and two of his closest friends, Dame Judi and Stephen Fry.

For the last 20 years of his life Sir John lived with sight loss, caused by macular degeneration which is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 people, a condition Dame Judi also shares.

Taking Centre Stage is the first in the Vision Foundation’s Sight Loss in the Spotlight centenary series of events. Over the coming year we are bringing together high-profile people from different industries and areas of life to challenge misconceptions and explore ways to remove the barriers to work faced by visually impaired people.

Taking Centre Stage also featured nine-year-old Eleanor Stollery (and her parents Tim and Kelly), a young blind actress who played Tiny Tim, as one of four characters sharing the role, in the recent  production of A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic in London.

To see more clips from Taking Centre Stage please check out our YouTube channel. To find out more about this and future events please sign up for our newslettter.

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