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Denholme film club helps end loneliness
A community cinema showing some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters comes to Denholme this spring as part of a project to prevent loneliness.
Since 2010, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has attempted to deal with the issue of social isolation in Yorkshire, and Denholme was chosen as one of the test communities for a three-year study.
Once the results were revealed in November, the main causes of loneliness in the village were identified as old age, lack of amenities, lack of youth facilities and family breakdown.
Other causes include new arrivals in the village, bereavement and busy lifestyles.
The project collected comments from more than 300 people. Denholme was chosen as a good example of a rural village.
Armed with these findings, the foundation and the local volunteers who helped with the project decided one of the best ways to get people together was to bring a cinema back to Denholme.
There has not been a cinema in Denholme for decades, but in May a series of monthly film nights starts in the Mechanics’ Institute. Scheduled for the first Friday of the month, the first film will be Skyfall, the latest James Bond adventure, followed by Oscar contenders Les Miserables and Life of Pi.
Jean Winter, one of the volunteers behind the film night, said although the Joseph Rowntree Foundation was helping fund it, the hope was to be self-sufficient by the time the foundation’s project ended later this year.
She said: “After the loneliness project, we had this idea to re-open the cinema, which closed in the 1950s.
“It is about getting the community to come together a bit more. It’s a place where people can come on their own and hopefully meet some new people.”
Although the phrase ‘loneliness’ is often associated with the elderly, the foundation’s findings show anyone can be lonely, and the film nights are open to the entire spectrum of the community.
Mrs Winter added: “Anyone can feel lonely – they might have just moved to the area and don’t know anyone, and it doesn’t matter their age.
“There is a lot going on in Denholme, so we want people to get involved. We needed something that could keep running without the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s help.”
Films will be chosen to appeal to as wide a range of the community as possible.
Skyfall will be screened at the Mechanics’ Institute on May 3, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £4 on the door.