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Making a difference
Case Study

Classic Cinema Club expands across two sites

THE NEED

Having started the Leigh Film Society not-for-profit Classic Cinema Club in 2014, founders Elizabeth and Paul Costello approached Ambition for Ageing to request funding in 2016.

 

Showing old film screen across a range of genres, the club aimed to encourage older people to get together and watch their favourite golden oldies a safe, friendly environment. Socialising was greatly encouraged, with tea and biscuits being served and people invited to bring a packed lunch if they wanted to.

 

At the time, not many people regularly attended the showings so – although there was lots of potential to grow the club – there was a need to get more regular members on board and also to obtain portable equipment in order to take films out wider into the community

 

 

THE SOLUTION

A successful bid for investment was made and used to purchase film equipment, small fold-away tables and publicity material. AFA also helped the club to develop a safeguarding policy to meet health and safety requirements.

 

 

THE BENEFITS

Thanks to the dedication of its volunteers and the development of some excellent publicity materials, including an attractive and informative website, the club has grown significantly as a result of investment. Entry costs can be kept down to an affordable £2 per person and people can still bring in their own food and drink.  

 

Because it can now afford to promote itself more widely, the number of regular attendees at the club has risen to 70. The funding has also enabled a second classic cinema club to open a few miles away in Tyldesley where attendance numbers are also steadily increasing. Together the two clubs are having a very powerful local impact in terms of promoting community cohesion, encouraging mental stimulation and alleviating social isolation.

 

Despite its fast rate of growth, the club still keeps its friendly and welcoming feel and everyone is always welcome. There is a very inclusive ethos – for example, all volunteers have now undertaken dementia awareness training. Additionally, because some people attending are hard of hearing and or visually impaired, subtitles are used at all classic cinema screenings.

 

Comments from club members include:

 

“Everyone is made to feel welcome. They also have a good selection of old films which brings back great memories”

 

“There are a lot of people on their own, myself included. So it’s somewhere to spend a nice afternoon in company, and not expensive”

 

“It brings people together to support each other and gives you a sense of belonging while having a fun time and making friends”

 

“We all look forward to meeting new people, as everyone speaks to each other.”

 

Despite its fast rate of growth, the club still keeps its friendly and welcoming feel and everyone is always welcome. There is a very inclusive ethos – for example, all volunteers have now undertaken dementia awareness training. Additionally, because some people attending are hard of hearing and or visually impaired, subtitles are used at all classic cinema screenings.

 

 

THE LEARNING

 

Founder, Paul Costello, is delighted to be able to offer older members of the local community a regular, affordable social event, and is convinced that accessibility is the key to the club’s success:

“Leigh Film Society believes in being accessible to everyone in our community, with many different film projects that offer something for everyone.

 

“We are proud to have formed relations across the borough and have film screening that bring the community together, fighting social Isolation and championing good

causes”.

 

 

LOOKING AHEAD

The Classic Cinema Club looks set to run and run and to expand even further in future given that Leigh Film Society is going from strength to strength across all its community operations. As well as the Classic Cinema Club, the Society runs a range of additional projects including scriptwriting groups and pop up community film screenings.

 

Two eminent celebrity patrons have now been appointed - Christopher Eccleston and Ben Batt – and, in June 2018, the Society was awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service for "Providing socially-inclusive cinema screenings for everyone in the community and broadening access to culture".

 

Further details about Leigh Film Society can be found on their website

 

Author
Locality: 
Wigan
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