RNIB Read is lucky enough to have the support of amazing celebrities.
Our high profile supporters help us to change the story and open up the world of reading to everyone by raising funds and awareness.
- Alison Moore
- Bali Rai
- Ben Fogle
- Ben Hanlin
- Christopher Eccleston
- Darren Shan
- Deborah Levy
- Frank Lampard
- Harriet Scott
- Jade Ewen
- Jason Bradbury
- Joanna Trollope
- Jo Brand
- Michael Palin
- Michael Rosen
- Michael Sheen
- Ollie Locke
- Patrick Ness
- Phyllida Law
- Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan
- Tan Twan Eng
- Will Self
- Favourite children’s book
- Reading workshops
- Signed books
Booker prize shortlisted, Alison Moore, author of “The Lighthouse”, made a visit to RNIB’s Talking Book studios in London in 2012 – to see our work in action and support Read for RNIB.
I can barely imagine not having access to books. Books have always been hugely important to me. I love being in bookshops and libraries – the pleasure of choosing what to read next. I know the comfort which talking books can provide if seeing and reading books is no longer an option. The Talking Book Service is vital and it deserves all the support we can give it.
Bali Rai, the writer of more than 30 stories – including the “Soccer Squad” series – first got involved with RNIB Read at the magical pop up shop in London in 2012. He spoke in front of 120 children – a feat most people would run scared from – but one Bali took firmly in his stride. Bali then appeared at an RNIB sponsored event at the Chipping Campden Literary Festival in the Cotswolds in May 2013 entertaining five primary schools. Bali was a brilliant ambassador of RNIB’s work and also spoke about how geeks now rule the world, his love of Bob Marley and how reading will make everyone smarter. Read our news article about Bali’s talk for school children at the Chipping Campden Literary Festival.
I’m delighted to be taking part in RNIB Read. Access to books is a right to which everyone, sighted, blind or partially sighted, should be entitled. To have the opportunity to highlight the great work done by RNIB in this regard is a great honour. Books are fundamental to a rich and interesting existence and they make my world a better a place. The opportunity to pass on my love of them is too good to miss.
TV star and naturalist Ben Fogle supported RNIB Read 2012 by talking to The Daily Express about the five things he can’t live without.
This included his love of bookshops, reading and having laser surgery on his eyes.
CBBC star Ben Hanlin gave visitors to RNIB’s Read’s Alice in Wonderland extravaganza a very special magic show in 2012.
The former Dr Who star brought to life RNIB Read’s Sense Stories event at the Roundhouse in 2013. The Thor actor voiced the short play, Now That You’ve Died by Patrick Ness, which was performed entirely in the dark.
Christopher also wrote a letter to the editors of newspapers all over the country encouraging readers to get involved in RNIB Read 2013.
I find it hard to imagine what my life would be like without being able to access books and scripts or enjoy a bedtime story with my little boy. For many blind and partially sighted people, reading is even more important, it can be a lifeline. It’s the key to helping them live independently as part of an inclusive society.”
Top children’s author of horror and fantasy books, Darren Shan has sold over 25 million books. In 2014 he kindly offered his time as a prize for any school participating in RNIB Read.
As a child, I loved escaping into the world of books, and I think that everyone should be offered that opportunity. I am supporting Read for RNIB to help raise money for braille, large print and audio books, which can be a lifeline to children with sight loss. I urge schools all over the UK to sign up and get involved. Every little bit helps RNIB open up a world of reading to everyone. And it’s fun too!”
Booker prize shortlisted, Deborah Levy, author of “Swimming Home”, made a visit to RNIB’s Talking Book studios in London in 2012 – to see our work in action and support RNIB Read.
When we read books we visit new places, meet people who are different from ourselves, encounter new ideas. Everyone should be able to join in this journey. Reading is one of the ways we can explore the world. This is why I support the brilliant work of RNIB.”
The Chelsea and England footballer joined a whole host of celebs, including John Humphyrs, Cerys Matthews and Caroline Quentin, to take part in a very special mass recording of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.
I am delighted to be involved in such a lovely project and fantastic cause. As a children’s author I think it’s hugely important that blind and partially sighted kids, and adults, are able to read any book they want. It’s shocking that just seven per cent of books are currently fully accessible.”
Playing the part of The Red Queen, Frank was one of 400 people who helped create a very unique RNIB Talking Book.
Radio personality Harriet Scott entertained youngsters by reading an excerpt from “Alice in Wonderland” to a captivated audience down by Southwark Cathedral in 2012 for Read for RNIB.
Sugababes and Splash! star Jade Ewen spoke very movingly about her relationship with her blind parents – who met while working at RNIB – to highlight RNIB Read 2012.
Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury also made an appearance at the RNIB Read Wonderland 2012 with his family and offered up his support for 2013.
Joanna Trollope attended the Chipping Campden Literary Festival in May 2014 in aid of RNIB Read. Joanna spoke all about her long standing support for RNIB – she has been a campaigner for many years. Read our news article about Joanna’s appearance at the Chipping Campden Literary Festival.
We spend a lot of time, rightly, worrying about saving lives, but the thing RNIB does is save people’s sanity as being able to read really does stop people being going round the bend. That is why I am supporting RNIB Read. It should be automatic that as soon as a book is published, it is made available to the blind or partially sighted.”
Jo Brand has been a huge supporter of RNIB Read since it started. She has written letters to newspapers all over Britain which were instrumental in securing coverage and getting people to sign up.
Michael Palin has been a huge supporter of RNIB Read since it started. He has written letters to newspapers all over Britain which were instrumental in securing coverage and getting people to sign up.
Photo credit: John Swannell
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of much loved children’s book ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ RNIB Read were lucky enough to join Walker Books in July 2014 and have the author Michael Rosen lead the Biggest Ever Bear Hunt. This took the form of a curriculum based lesson and broke Guinness World Record™ for largest reading lesson with 1,438 children taking part in Charter Hall, Colchester and over 40,000 watching from across the country via a live stream.
Just think what we’re doing is helping children who are visually impaired one way or another to have as much right to look at books and read books as anybody who has what’s called good sight. Yes, we’re helping those children. Equal access. To Everybody. And that’s what we’re doing today, celebrating RNIB’s work in helping visually impaired children.”
Hollywood A-lister Michael Sheen took part in a very special mass recording of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for RNIB Read 2013. He has also recorded lines from well known children’s books for RNIB. The magical excerpts in a host of different voices were played at RNIB Read’s 2012 Literary Wonderland event in London.
We have to hand it to Ollie who was game for anything at RNIB Read’s mass recording of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” at Waterloo station in 2013. The Made in Chelsea and Celebrity Big Brother star dressed up as the Mad Hatter while he recorded his passage – in his very own distinctive style.
Double CILIP Carnegie Prize winning author Patrick Ness took part in a very special project for RNIB Read 2013. The super creative writer of teenage and adult fiction wrote RNIB a brand new work of fiction that was then voiced by Christopher Eccleston and performed at Camden Roundhouse in London in a unique sensory experience.
I’ve been lucky enough to win the Carnegie Medal a couple times, and one of most brilliant things about it is getting a braille copy of your winning book and meeting some awesome young blind and partially sighted readers. When RNIB offered me the idea of a “play without visuals”, I leapt at it. I hope it brings a huge spotlight on Read for RNIB Day.”
Patrick Ness is the author of “The Chaos Walking” and “A Monster Calls”.
Nanny McPhee star Phyllida Law has been a firm supporter of RNIB and our Talking Book service for many years as sight loss runs in her family. Phyllida joined Anneka Rice and Olllie Locke at Waterloo Station in October 13 to take part in the mass talking book recording of “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland”.
Tan Twan Eng
Booker prize shortlisted, Tan Twan Eng, author of “The Garden of Evening Mists”, made a visit to RNIB’s Talking Book studios in London in 2012 – to see our work in action and support RNIB Read. He has offered to help us in the future.
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan
TV legends Richard and Judy are fully behind RNIB Read.
Judy, who has undergone four operations due to a detached retina, first learnt about the work of RNIB after publishing her first book “Eloise”, which has been made into a Talking Book and a braille version.
Judy and Richard visited RNIB’s Talking Books studio in Camden, north London, where Judy gave a moving interview to RNIB’s Insight Radio. The pair pledged their support for RNIB Read and have put their names to a letter to be sent to newspaper and magazine editors all over the country highlighting the public to sign up and get involved.
Booker prize shortlisted, Will Self, author of “Umbrella”, made a visit to RNIB’s Talking Book studios in London in 2012 – to see our work in action and support RNIB Read. He has offered to help us in the future.
For me the most important influence on my life – not just as a writer, but my life overall – was my mother’s consistent reading to me as a child. I read relentlessly to my own children – and I enjoy listening to talking books to this day.
I appreciate enormously that RNIB’s Talking Book Service is not a luxury for the two million blind and partially sighted in the UK, but a necessity – if I imagine what it would be like to have restricted access to reading material, it is as if I were in some dreadful jail. Sight loss is enough of a disability as it is, RNIB’s Talking Book Service helps blind and partially sighted people not to feel that they’re in a prison within a prison.
Favourite children’s book
Stephen Fry, Jamie Hince, Gareth Malone, The Fonz and Julie Andrews all joined in with the fun of Read for RNIB by letting us know what was their favourite children’s book of all time.
Children’s authors Bali Rai, Sally Gardner and Josh Lacey enthralled primary school kids with reading workshops at the RNIB Read’s Literary Wonderland.
Theo Walcott, Geri Halliwell, Emma Thompson, Stephen Merchant, Julian Fellowes, Julia Donaldson and Terry Pratchett have all donated signed books to be auctioned off for RNIB Read.