Cinema clubs for carers created by borough film organisation

Leigh Film Society is teaming up with the council's adult social care team
Leigh Film Society is teaming up with the council's adult social care team

A borough film organisation is bringing the magic of the movies to those looking after relatives with a new cinema for carers’ project.

Leigh Film Society has teamed up with Wigan and Leigh Young Carers and Wigan Council’s adult social care department to put on a regular programme of screenings giving a few hours’ respite to those who have to care for relatives.

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There will be two screenings a month at Leigh Spinners Mill, with one involving the groups of young carers aged between five and 24 picking the films they watch.

The other is an adult carers’ cinema club with those looking after relatives and their loved ones coming together to see movies.

The society, which already runs classic cinema clubs which combat social isolation and are accessible for people with dementia and their carers, says it is part of its mission to open up the world of the silver screen to as many people as possible.

Society chairman Paul Costello said: “We are delighted to be taking on this new project as it fits perfectly into our ethos of inclusivity.

"Many people have difficulty in attending a multiplex and this is where the society comes in, providing screenings in a safe and relaxed environment.

"This is just the start of a partnership delivering great community cinema for everyone.”

The idea for the carers’ clubs came about when film society development director Elizabeth Costello gave a presentation to the town hall’s adult social care team about the therapeutic benefits of cinema.

The events will begin with networking and then there will be further discussion after the credits have rolled.

Wigan and Leigh Young Carers said it was delighted to be working on the project, which it hopes will provide vital respite for young people needing a break from their heavy schedule of duties at home.

The charity’s project manager Paul Carroll said: “The young carers’ groups will be going to watch a film together and have some socialisation afterwards talking about it.

"Children like going to watch a film and part of our role is getting young carers in similar situations talking and reducing social isolation, so it’s a win for us.

"It can be very powerful for them to get away from their caring roles for two or three hours and engaging with other young people with similar issues and making friendships.”

The charity is keen to hear from residents who would be willing to take on volunteer driving roles to bring the young carers to Leigh on screening days.

The Society has a two-year part-funding agreement with the town hall to run the carers’ cinema events, with the adult screenings being arranged in partnership with Wigan and Leigh Carers’ Centre.

Deputy leader of Wigan Council, Coun Keith Cunliffe, said: “Supporting the borough’s carers is a key priority for the council. Their hard-work, commitment and dedication to those they care for should be recognised.

With this in mind, we were more than happy to part-fund the new venture in providing respite, support networks and new opportunities for this group of residents, especially our young carers.”

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