Mountview and Dame Judi Dench, President of Mountview, today launch the Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training. Dame Judi is joined by Olivia Colman, Noma Dumezweni, Leigh & Twiggy Lawson, Eddie Marsan, Tom Piper, Giles Terera and Noah Thomas as Fund Ambassadors

The Fund has been set up in recognition of how financial need amongst students is at an all-time high and that costs incurred in pursuing training are a key block on many young people taking up a place at Mountview and starting their journey to a career in the creative industries.

Founded in 1945, Mountview stands for access, innovation and excellence for all. Mountview believes that talent and potential should be the only requirements for entry and that a young person’s circumstances should never prevent them from realising their potential.

The Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training will support initiatives that break down barriers to drama training:

  • Providing comprehensive scholarships: a diverse student body is only possible with significant scholarship support and Mountview is committed to helping students navigate the financial challenges of living and studying in London. Over 50% of its undergraduate students are considered to come from low-income families and receive financial support. Yet Mountview is some way short of offering comprehensive grants to all in need and the Judi Dench Fund aims to enable that aspiration to become a reality.
  • Making emergency grants for students: coronavirus is having a devastating effect on artists throughout the country, especially those at the outset of their careers. Many of Mountview’s students are facing unforeseen financial difficulties, with a sharp increase in requests for emergency grants which Mountview predicts will continue for some time.
  • Finding and supporting diverse talent: recognising that there is a significant pool of artists who wouldn’t traditionally consider drama training to be accessible, Mountview works with over 50 scouting partners throughout the UK to find diverse talent, who are nominated for free auditions and travel support, removing initial barriers and giving them the very best chance of success.
  • Safeguarding physical and mental health: drama training is intensive and challenging and for those students who haven’t been afforded prior high-level training it can be difficult to adjust. As well as supporting those with disclosed mental health conditions and specific learning difficulties, Mountview recognises that wellbeing and welfare provision is vital, so that all students can thrive throughout their training.

Mountview joint CEO’s Stephen Jameson and Sarah Preece commented:

“As President of Mountview Dame Judi shares our commitment to ensuring that access to the best training is open to everyone, regardless of their background. We are very grateful to Dame Judi for supporting the fund named after her and we hope the work this Fund enables will stand as a fitting tribute to one of the true greats of our profession.”

Click to find out more about supporting the Judi Dench Fund.