Ian Young was an amazing influence in my life last year and has continued to be a wonderful support to me since. He helped me to research a film role I was determined to get right. It was the role of a police woman struggling with alcohol and cocaine addiction. Ian introduced me to some unbelievable people who were so honest and open about their own experiences of addiction and rehabilitation. The whole experience was unbelievably moving to me as a person and made the role in to something that exceeded all of my expectations as an actress. I knew, after my time with Ian researching, that I had to honour him and all the people who had given me their time in my performance. I am so grateful to all of them. I don’t care how the role is perceived as long as they and Ian gives it the thumbs up! That’s what matters. Seeing the generosity, commitment and humour Ian brings to the people he works with is truly inspirational. He uses his own struggle and experience to help others through theirs. Not the kind of humanity you find every day. He is one of those people that makes things happen. All I had to do was ask if he could sort me out with some people to talk to and places to visit for research and it was done. He really did make what I thought to be the impossible, possible. I could not have done it without you Ian! Let’s hope the film does well, but most importantly, let’s hope all the people I met are happy and healthy and continue to thrive on the support you and people like you give them. Thanks for being so generous and putting yourself on the line for a complete stranger. All the blessings in the world for all you put your hand to.

Zawe Ashton