Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Saturday night at the movies



Well Tuesday night actually. This is the plan for a potential new community project in Shepherd's Bush. Called Open Cinema, I picked up on their call for local W12 volunteers on Twitter and contacted the Volunteers Opportunities team. Eleanor promptly came back to me with the following information about them and about how we in Shepherd's Bush could help - I'm sure she won't mind me quoting her exact words here:


"Open Cinema is a non-profit social enterprise, and we run a network of film clubs all around the UK for marginalised communities. We've done a lot of work with homeless groups, partnering with hostels like St Mungos and day centres like The Connection at St Martins, but we've also started to partner up with community organisations who want to do something for people in their local area. You can read more about our network as a whole on our website: www.opencinema.net.

In Shepherd's Bush, we're partnering with the community centre attached to the Church of St Stephen and St Thomas in Coverdale Road. They approached us about setting up a film club for the local area's homeless community and elderly local residents, and they want to run screenings for each group on alternative weeks (so one week homeless, the next elderly) with some general community events too. They've already found a coordinator to run the screenings and lead the volunteers, so we just need a group of volunteers to help him out with things like making tea, collecting donations of sandwiches and handing them out, helping to set up and tidy up the screening room (we use proper kit - projectors, surround sound, big screen...) and generally engaging with our guests, chatting to them about films and making the screenings a friendly and welcoming environment.

The night when the screenings will be hasn't quite been set yet, but we think it's going to be Thursday nights from 6-9pm, starting in early Feb. Volunteers won't have to come along every week, but 2 or 3 nights each month would be best as it helps us to establish a good sense of community. Prospective volunteers should have a strong interest in film (all kinds welcome... blockbuster action to art house indies and everything in between) and preferably some experience of voluntary work with the homeless, elderly or other isolated social groups. Shepherd's Bush locals are preferred too - we want this to be a community focused project."

For anyone who is interested I have Eleanor's contact details so please get in touch via the blog or drop me an email. I am going to sign up - so let me know if you are too!

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