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Local Film Society in the Running for National Dementia Friendly Award

Local, volunteer-run Bracknell Film Society (BFS) has been shortlisted in the Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friendly Awards 2017. These national awards are held annually and recognise the work done by individuals and organisations to improve the lives of people with dementia.

Bracknell Film Society's nomination is in the category of Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year (Small and Medium), which recognises those who have successfully implemented a dementia friendly initiative to be inclusive and support those affected by dementia in the organisation or communities they work in. All nominated organisations needed to evidence a positive impact on people affected by dementia and/or be able to demonstrate the involvement of people affected by dementia.

The awards ceremony will be held at London's County Hall at the end of November.

Julia Vickers of the BFS Working Party for the screenings said: "We are thrilled that the work of a volunteer organisation has been recognised in these national awards. The contribution of all volunteers at these screenings - and behind the scenes - is vital to make them run smoothly and bring a warm, friendly atmosphere, much appreciated by the audience. We have received super feedback from our audiences, which has helped inform how we organise and present screenings. It's been a delight to get to know regular attendees and welcome them back to each film show."

The Alzheimer's Society commented that "The number of nominations we have received for this year's Dementia Friendly Awards was truly phenomenal (over 4000), nominations were judged by a panel of people affected by dementia and industry experts who have worked hard to whittle it down to our finalists' inspirational and exceptional stories. This year’s finalists are leading and inspiring a dementia movement that will transform the lives of those affected by dementia forever. They are challenging misunderstandings, changing attitudes and raising awareness."

The dementia-friendly screenings were initiated and organised by Bracknell Film Society with funding from Film Hub South East, run in partnership with South Hill Park and with the expert support of the Bracknell Forest Dementia Action Alliance.

Craig Titley, South Hill Park Executive Director, said: "We know that many people are affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and we are proud to support Bracknell Film Society in widening the enjoyment of film to include people living with dementia. We look forward to these special screenings continuing for many years to come."

Lis Spencer, Film Hub South East Strategy & Development Manager, said: Going to the cinema can inspire, move and thrill us. It can teach us new things about the world. For people with dementia, it can also connect us back to a world we may no longer feel part of. Film Hub South East exists to help venues take risks and reach out to new audiences, so we are really proud to support Bracknell Film Society to put on these dementia friendly screenings.

The relaxed screenings are specially designed for people living with dementia, with reduced sound, the lighting left up and no adverts. The intimate setting of the South Hill Park cinema provides a restful, calm ambience with the number of seats occupied restricted for audience comfort. A short interval and complimentary refreshments after each film enhance the enjoyment and provide an entertaining afternoon out. A fun, film-linked memento is provided to each audience member and a memory box of cinema and film memorabilia provide a talking point about the event and evoke positive memories. All staff and volunteers are trained Dementia Friends.

Further information in the Dementia Friendly Awards 2017 can be found here:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20049/conferences_and_events/53/dementia_friendly_awards

The dementia-friendly screenings continue on the second Monday of each month (doors open at 1.30 for a 2pm start) with Singin' in the Rain (13 Nov) and White Christmas (11 Dec).

Tickets for screenings are available from the South Hill Park Box Office:
01344 484123 or from the website: www.southhillpark.org.uk

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