A woman who runs a cinema club for pensioners in Dundee is hoping to organise a Christmas film-viewing session to give members something to look forward to after a “horrible year”.
Mary Cavin runs Golden Oldies Cinema Club which operates monthly from the Ardler Complex and The Friary on Tullideph Road.
Since lockdown began the group have been unable to meet, leaving many of the members suffering from loneliness and low mood.
Mary is hoping to organise a movie session at The Friary with a meal beforehand at the Weavers Mill at Camperdown Park on November 25 and December 2.
The group recently received funding to go towards the event from Regeneration Forums across Dundee.
Mary, 74, said: “I’m feeling quite optimistic this will go ahead because I think that this has been a horrible year.
“The nursing homes aren’t getting out, so we couldn’t use the mobile cinema there so they haven’t had anything in six months.
“They weren’t able to go out and that really, really hurts me – that they haven’t seen anybody or anything familiar because they have had to be staying indoors or in their garden only. A fair number have been shielding, which comes with age.
“Every single one of our group has had to experience this loneliness and some have said how low in mood they are, depressed and just getting upset because they can’t do anything.”
Mary added some people she has spoken to have questioned whether they will make it through the pandemic.
She said: “It’s actually quite emotional speaking to some people, and you see the loneliness in their face, or in their voice.”
Provisional plans are to split the group of 70 across two days and take them first for a meal before heading to watch a movie.
SSEN will be providing goodie bags for the attendees, as well as PPE, and Fareshare have also agreed to contribute.
Mary added: “Having something like that at that time is giving them hope, it’s not something they have seen in the past six months, they’ve not got any hope.
“I want to thank everybody, Weavers Mill, The Friary, Samantha at SSEN and Fareshare.”
Samantha O’Connor, Regional Customer Relationship Manager at SSEN, said: “We are delighted to be able to help the Golden Oldies Cinema Club with their Christmas preparations this year.
“Our Home Emergency Kits include helpful advice and resources including torches, pens and checklists to help club members enhance their own personal resilience ahead of the winter.”
Pat Webster, one of the volunteers who helps with the Golden Oldies group at the Friary, said the event would allow members to get out of the house when they might not have been able to during lockdown.
She said: “They love watching the old films together. Even if someone has dementia watching the films brings back memories.”
Chris Doig, manager of FareShare Tayside & Fife, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough and stressful time for so many, especially older people who may have had to shield and limit social interactions through the lockdown.
“As we enter winter and another period of uncertainty, it’s so important to give people something to look forward to and a sense of community.
“We’re really pleased to help Golden Oldies Cinema Club by providing goodie bags for members – everyone deserves a treat, now more than ever.”
Mary’s also keen to let group member Mary Burns, and her two friends, know of the event as she has been trying for several weeks to get in touch.
Any taxi companies who may be able to help out with transport on the day, or anyone who would like to contribute to the goodie bags, can contact Mary via 01382 828202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fareshare and Weavers Mill have been approached for comment.