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Funding boost for Nostalgic Cinema

Honiton’s popular dementia-friendly nostalgic cinema initiative has received a welcome funding boost courtesy of the town’s county councillor Phil Twiss. He has pledged funds from his locality budget that will pay for the TRIP community transport network to bus movie lovers into the monthly screenings at the Beehive.

Wendy Van der Plank, programme manager at the Beehive, explained this week: “The Beehive applied to councillor Twiss for some of the remainder of his locality budget in order to fund the TRIP bus payments for transport for people within Honiton to come to the Beehive for the monthly dementia-friendly nostalgic cinema. I’m delighted to say our application to County Hall has been successful, which is fantastic. We are very grateful and this means that we can now fund the transport for the next year. We have a totally fabulous selection of nostalgic films coming up – all chosen democratically by those who love to attend the screenings with the aid of Ian Jeeves, who is the projectionist for all of the films.”

Heather Penwarden, chair of Honiton Dementia Action Alliance, said: “Besides engaging the brain and stimulating emotions, being a part of an audience enjoying a film helps people with dementia and their carers to feel less isolated. The dementia-friendly nostalgic cinema at the Beehive is a great example of all we are trying to achieve with different groups and organisations working together to help people carry on living well with dementia in Honiton. Over the past three years the nostalgic cinema has become a popular outing for many and with all the films being requested by the audience, the programme includes something for everyone’s own personal nostalgia. The tea and biscuits supplied in the Beehive cafe after the film provide a wonderful chance for a chat about the film just seen and to socialise with fellow filmgoers.” Mrs Penwarden added: “Being inclusive of all who are touched by dementia and helping people access the films is a vital part of the nostalgic cinema. We are very grateful to receive funding sufficient for 12 months to pay for the TRIP community transport minibus to bring people who don’t drive or have physical disabilities into the Beehive so they can join in the fun.”

On Friday, December 21, Beehive staff and volunteers joined Mrs Penwarden and councillor Twiss to celebrate the funding announcement and enjoy the Christmas edition of nostalgic cinema, which featured It’s a Wonderful Life. This iconic film has now become a staple of the festive season, whether on the big screen or TV. As the critics have said: “It is well-constructed, well-acted and contains an obvious but still powerful feel-good message.” James Stewart stars as ambitious but kind-hearted George Bailey, whose desire to leave his small town of Bedford Falls is continually foiled – even on his wedding day – by circumstances beyond his control. After the screening, mince pies and mulled wine were served in the Beehive Cafe.

Everyone is very welcome to these dementia-friendly screenings. All films start at 2pm and are usually on the fourth Friday of each month. Tickets £3.80 to include hot drink, biscuits & chat in the café after the show.

Article by Tim Dixon, The Paper for Honiton