The Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training

Mountview’s founding principles of access, excellence and innovation are at the heart of everything we do. We believe 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. To ensure talent and potential remain the only criteria for entry, and our stages and screens are representative of the society we live in, we must invest in initiatives that break down barriers to drama training.  

Donate to the Judi Dench Fund

The Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training – named in honour of our President – ensures students from all walks of life can thrive throughout their time at Mountview and fulfil their extraordinary potential. The impact of the current cost-of-living crisis on our students is acute, and need for additional support is at an all-time high. In 2023, the Judi Dench Fund will focus on:

Providing emergency grants to students in need:

We are committed to helping students navigate the challenges of living and studying in London. Emergency grants help tackle unforeseen problems that could prevent students from continuing to train. The cost-of-living crisis has resulted in a significant spike in applications to our Emergency Support Fund. Emergency grants safeguard against students who may be put at risk of homelessness, or who are struggling to cover their basic needs like food and travel.

Safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of our students:

Drama training is intensive and challenging, and the current economic climate coupled with NHS wait times is having a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of our student body. As well as supporting those with disclosed mental health conditions and specific neurodiversities, we recognise that wellbeing and welfare provision such as our counselling service is vital in enabling all students to thrive throughout their training.

The UK is second to none when it comes to live theatre and the creative industries. To maintain this position we must invest in the next generation of actors, musical theatre performers, directors and writers. You can do just that today by supporting Mountview.

Dame Judi Dench, President of Mountview

“Mountview was the only school willing to give someone like me a chance.'

Charlie Heptinstall, BA Acting 2020

The Judi Dench Fund will transform the lives of students like Charlie. Find out more about the impact your gift could have for a young person studying with us by reading the Scholar Stories below.

What your donation could do

£25 could cover the cost of a student travelcard for a week

£50 could cover the audition costs of an aspiring actor discovered through our scouting network

£100 could pay for 2 individual physio sessions for our dancers

£250 could fund a counsellor for the day, offering 1:1 sessions for 6 students

£500 could fund an emergency grant for a student facing loss of income as a result of coronavirus

£1,000 could fund a student’s travel costs for year

£2,500 could mean the difference between a student being able to pay their tuition fees or forfeiting their place

The Judi Dench Fund is vital to ensuring students from all backgrounds can thrive at Mountview. Help at this critical moment could make the difference between a young person flourishing in their studies or being unable to sustain themselves through their training.

Please consider making a donation online today, or if you’d like to discuss supporting the Judi Dench Fund in more detail, I would be delighted to hear from you. Together we can directly alter the prospects of young artists, at a pivotal moment in their lives.

Laura GabeSenior Development


By joining our family of regular givers, you can help us plan for the future and support more young people to thrive through their training. You can set up a Direct Debit online now, or contact the Development Team for more details. Thank you.

Whether a monthly or annual donation, every gift will make a difference to those we work with. If you prefer to make a one-off gift, please use the donation box below.


Dame Judi Dench CH DBE FRSA
Olivia Colman CBE
Noma Dumezweni

Leigh Lawson
Dame Twiggy Lawson DBE
Eddie Marsan

Tom Piper MBE
Giles Terera MBE
Noah Thomas

Listen to Fund Ambassador Giles Terera in conversation with Judi Dench as part of Mountview LIVE

We would like to thank all of our generous supporters for their contributions to the Judi Dench Fund.