On Friday 16 September, to help celebrate Queens Cross Housing Association’s 40th Anniversary, GFT held a Movie Memories Event at Dundasvale Residents Hall as part of a new relationship with the Dundasvale Community Involvement Group encouraging Dementia Friendly film events. GFT’s Public Engagement Co-ordinator Jodie Wilkinson has been working closely with the local housing association groups, supported by funding from Glasgow City Council Community Planning Partnership Fund, to identify effective ways to engage an otherwise often isolated community.
With a focus on accessibility and bringing people together, a pop-up screening of the Gene Kelly classic Singin’ in the Rain (1952) was held, complete with a movie memory handling kit, kindly loaned from Glasgow Museums. The hall was decorated in style to hark back to the Golden Era of cinema and a themed dance performance from local 1950s dance troupe Kennedy’s Cupcakes contributed to creating a comfortable, fun and familiar environment. Matt Connelly, Project Manager at The Remember Well Project commented on Glasgow Film’s project: ‘This will have huge benefit for people living with dementia. I’m delighted to see the GFT supporting reminiscence as an effective tool for engagement and tackling social isolation.’
By taking the event to Dundasvale Residents Hall, GFT ensured those with mobility issues were able to attend, socialise with others in a welcoming environment and feel a valued part of the community. The popular classic film was chosen in particular as many of the residents may have seen the musical upon its initial release – and music has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on someone living with Dementia, prompting positive memories associated with cinema-going. Jennifer Melrose, Assistant Neighbourhood Manager at Queens Cross Housing Association said: “This year is the Association’s 40th anniversary and Movie Memories was a special way to help our Dundasvale residents celebrate Glasgow’s cinema history. Our Dundasvale Community Involvement Group are proud to have been part of such a fantastic event.” Chair of the Anderston/City Area Partnership, Bailie Philip Braat said: “Many Glaswegians, myself included, have experienced dementia in our families or in our communities and will understand the isolation that can come with it. We are delighted to be able to support this project, which I hope will help not only roll back the years for film fans, but create some new and happy memories.”
Having held this very successful Movie Memories Event, GFT has proved the capacity to lead the way in engagement through film, and increase access to life long learning. As a supporter of plans for Glasgow to become an Age Friendly City, GFT staff are trained Dementia Friends, as the cinema strives to become a Dementia Friendly Champion Cinema. In order to maintain this necessary engagement with the Glasgow community, GFT is delighted to continue their access cinema programme, consisting of Autism-friendly screenings and Visible Cinema for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences (Swallows and Amazons, Monday 26 September). GFT hope to develop the capacity for many more Dementia Friendly events in the future.
GFT would like to acknowledge thanks to: Glasgow City Council’s Anderston/City Area Community Planning Partnership Fund who funded the event, Queens Cross Housing Association and Alzheimer Scotland Movie Memories Team.