"I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to become an ambassador for InterAct Stroke Support. Until I was approached in 2018 I knew only a little about this wonderful charity , although actor friends and work colleagues who volunteered from time to time had told me of its efficacy, and of the wonderful benefits that could be achieved for patients by reading to them during their stay in hospital.
But I finally saw the evidence for myself when I shadowed two InterAct readers at the National London Hospital last December. During these sessions I met many wonderful people and heard their stories and by watching and hearing the experienced readers (and eventually trying it for myself) I witnessed at first hand the benefits of one-to-one dialogue with people struggling to surmount and conquer the effects of a stroke.
Individuals, young or old, who have suffered a stroke often face a daunting battle to reframe their lives, and to achieve a measure of their former mental dexterity. Reading to them seemed to help both their mind and their spirits. In every case of meeting a patient, I was constantly surprised and delighted by the interaction between readers and patients. It seemed to me that human company, and the chance to be drawn into a story or anecdote - or even a simple joke - was a source of vital stimulation to them.
It is therefore a huge honour to be representing this wonderful charity in its work, and I hope that in some small way I will be able to be able to increase InterAct's profile and to spread the word about the efficacy of its work."