Karuna

Patrons and Ambassadors

Dame Judy Dench

Karuna Patron

"Karuna works among some of the poorest communities in the world. The charity believes that the degradation of others is also our degradation and that the triumph over prejudice and ignorance is a triumph for us all.

Supporting these objectives is not simply a generous response to those most in need, it is also a practical commitment to the long-term needs of the world. I hope that once you have explored what Karuna does and given it careful consideration you will decide, as I have, to make that commitment.”

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE

karuna patron

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE is the Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He is a former President of the Royal Statistical Society (2017-2018) and became a Non-Executive Director of the UK Statistics Authority in 2020.

Named as one of the most cited statisticians of the last decade by the Institute of Scientific Information, Sir David has been a prominent figure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharing his knowledge with various organisations and widely in the media, he was awarded the Michael Faraday Prize by the Royal Society of London in 2020 for “excellence in communicating sciences to UK audiences”.

Sir David was also the presenter of the BBC4 documentaries “Tails you Win: the Science of Chance”, the award-winning “Climate Change by Numbers” and in 2011 featured in an episode of BBC1’s “Winter Wipeout”. His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019.

Sir David was awarded an OBE in 2006 and, in 2014, was knighted for services to medical statistics.

“I have admired the work of Karuna for many years, and so I am delighted to become a Patron. The projects they support aim to provide stigmatised groups with the skills and opportunities to develop their lives and livelihoods, and are rooted in the communities they serve. I love India and Nepal, and that’s why I feel so strongly about improving the lives of the least privileged.”

Kate  Atkinson MBE

karuna ambassador

Kate Atkinson MBE  is one of the world’s foremost literary novelists.

In 1995, Kate’s first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was released to universal praise, including being awarded the prestigious Costa Book of the Year award.

Releasing a new work almost every two years since then, Kate’s novels, plays, and short stories have aptly received critical and commercial acclaim, featuring on multiple bestseller lists. Her 2013 novel Life After Life won the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Award and was named by the Guardian as one of the best books of the last twenty years. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, voted Book of the Year for the independent bookseller associations on both sides of the Atlantic, and also won the Costa Novel Award, as did her next novel, A God in Ruins (2015).

Meanwhile, her incredibly popular detective novel series featuring protagonist Jackson Brodie has been adapted into a television series for the BBC called Case Histories, starring Jason Issacs as the lead.

Today Kate is one of Britain’s favourite authors, considered a master of dialogue and multifaceted characters. Appointed MBE for services to literature in 2011, she now lives in Edinburgh.

“I have been a supporter of Karuna for a long time, ever since a campaigner knocked on my door years ago. What I admire about Karuna’s work is its grassroots approach to improving the lives of the most marginalised people in India and Nepal. I find their commitment to the education of girls and women particularly inspiring as I believe it’s the greatest gift you can give to anyone. I am honoured to be an ambassador for them”