The Providence Row Film Club meets Rich Mix

30 January 2018

For people who are homeless, either sleeping rough on the streets or at risk of homelessness, life can be fraught with difficulty and danger. Here at Providence Row we help support people going through this traumatic time with our range of services, offering advice and support around housing, money and health as well as a range of learning, wellbeing and training activities. 

Although it is vital that people in this situation get the support they need around housing and money it is also very important that people affected by homelessness are able to access and enjoy leisure and wellbeing activities too. One such activity we run here at Providence Row is the popular weekly film club.

“In 2017 the film club really started to grow and now we have nine or ten members.” Said Alex, Providence Row’s Learning & Wellbeing Programme facilitator. “But this year we hope to take it to the next level.” 

Providence Row has been running a film club for several years, showing a film every Wednesday at their day centre. With the help of Rich Mix, a multi-arts venue nearby in Bethnal Green the Providence Row film club is developing and growing. The group recently visited Rich Mix to see a showing of Justice League, where they had a special tour of the building and refreshments included.

Tracy, Schools & Outreach Officer from Rich Mix said: “The normal stuff of life, like visiting the cinema or theatre, is still important for everybody in the community. Everyone should be able to experience that, regardless of their personal circumstances. They still have leisure needs, even though they may have other pressing needs around their homelessness. Taking part in a leisure activity, like seeing a film, can give people a boost, increase their wellbeing, putting them in a better frame of mind to tackle the challenges they face.”

Film Club member Claire said: “If you’re watching a movie with other people it’s different than watching it on your own on a TV or a phone. There’s a nice atmosphere. It’s great to go to Rich Mix and have a proper cinema atmosphere, a big screen and surround-sound. It’s a good communal experience. We try to recreate that here at the centre, but it’s a bit harder to do that. I’m looking forward to going again.”

Both Providence Row and Rich Mix are looking forward to developing the Providence Row Film club even further in 2018 with regular trips out to see films and exhibition at Rich Mix.

Tracy continued “We want to involve the group in our arts and culture programme beyond a film club, based on what they would find useful and enjoyable. We would also like to engage them in our Learning and Participation programme through the Outreach Life-Long learning strand offering them an opportunity to use their own voices, providing a vehicle for personal development and/or a new activity that they might want to pursue.”

Alex said: “It’s fantastic to work with local arts venues like Rich Mix to give our clients a trip out to look forward to, especially during what is often a very tough time for them. Arts and film can be an incredible uniting experience for the group, even a bad film really gets people talking. We can’t wait to develop the group, and our relationship with Rich Mix, in 2018.”