Here we go again! Resident Group funds “lifeline” dementia-friendly cinema screenings

Here we go again! Resident Group funds “lifeline” dementia-friendly cinema screenings
18th February 2019 Amanda Bhavnani
People at dementia-friendly cinema session

A group of Greenfields residents are improving lives by securing the future of special dementia-friendly cinema sessions in Halstead with a £1,500 grant.

Members of the Greenfields Resident Group (GRG) North are supported by Greenfields Community Housing to fund community projects of their choice in the north of the Braintree District and surrounding areas.

The Empire Theatre successfully trialled dementia-friendly cinema sessions last year in partnership with Care UK, which attracted hundreds of people. The project will now continue after the group awarded £1,500 to help to continue a variety of films being shown over three years. The season began with a Valentine’s Day showing of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

The free screenings are tailored for those with dementia by providing increased lighting, lower volume, an interval and staff on hand to give support, where needed and appropriate.

Yvonne Warren, from Halstead, is on the GRG North and has been volunteering with Empire Theatre for three years. She said: “Myself and other members of GRG North want to focus on funding projects that have a real impact on people’s lives. The cinema sessions are such a good cause and they all enjoy it – I get them clapping and laughing. They rely on it and it brings everyone together; they’re a lovely bunch. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.”

In the last year the GRG North has spent more than £12,000 on a wide range of projects, ranging from community garden improvements in Sible Hedingham to a ‘Tea on Green’ event in Halstead to bring neighbours together. To find out more about Greenfields’ Resident Groups, visit: Greenfields Residents Group

To find out more about the cinema sessions, visit www.empire-theatre.co.uk, email mike@empire-theatre.co.uk or call 07947 556501. Future showings include Finding Your Feet on Thursday 14 March, Bohemian Rhapsody on Thursday 11 April and Mary Poppins Returns on Thursday 9 May. Doors open at 1.45pm with the films starting at 2.30pm.