Susan, Lady Kulukundis, known professionally by her maiden name Susan Hampshire, became Vice-Patron of the charity in 2022.
Susan Hampshire is a three-time Emmy Award winning actress, known for her roles in The Forsyte Saga, Vanity Fair and Monarch of the Glen. Susan’s OBE and CBE recognise her dedication to her charity work, including her support of people with dyslexia, a cause close to her heart.
Susan was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was 30; she had struggled at school, only learning to write her name at age nine and read well at 12. With huge support from her parents, Susan turned to acting. She says,
'...if you can't do the basic things, such as spell your own name, you subconsciously think of yourself as inferior. That's why it's so important to give dyslexic children self-belief, because they can achieve so much anyway… Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity works tirelessly to help adults and children with dyslexia and I’m delighted to continue to further the charity’s cause.’
Susan is a life-long champion of people with dyslexia, and she has been a loyal and active friend of the charity, and of our founder, the late Helen Arkell, for many years. Susan was one of our high-profile supporters when the charity was set up in 1971. She has frequently attended our various events, including the handover of a new mobile unit, and has spoken on our behalf in support of our work.
In the book Spellbinder, Helen says, ‘Susan came to various meetings we had with head teachers and class teachers and talked very openly about her problems. She would talk about the agony of trying to learn a new part and she was a great help. We would always cite her as an example for our pupils to follow.’
We are absolutely thrilled to have Susan as our Vice-Patron.