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Pilot project launching tomorrow to help tackle rural loneliness and isolation in Ceiriog Valley

Rural communities in the Ceiriog Valley are set to benefit from a pilot project launching this Thursday which will bring three big screen movies to the valley in a cross border partnership with Shropshire-based Arts Alive/Flicks in the Sticks.

The project is co-funded by Glyntraian Community Council and the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall management committee. 

The Oliver Jones Film Club, established by the two valley organisations, aims to encourage social opportunities through the medium of film as an accessible and engaging way to tackle rural loneliness and isolation. 

The inaugural screening will take place at the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall, Dolywern on Thursday 13th December with a showing of the acclaimed movie ‘The Guernsey Literary’ and ‘Potato Peel Pie Society’, starring Lily James and Michiel Huisman.

Doors open at 6pm with the film starting at 7pm.

“Earlier this year, Huw Irranca-Davies, the social care minister in the Welsh Government referred to loneliness and rural isolation in Wales as a ‘ticking time bomb’, said Holly Payne, editor of Double.LL Magazine who is organising and sponsoring the three screening events.

“Loneliness, particularly in the winter months, has become an annual epidemic as prevalent and damaging to the nation’s health and wellbeing as the flu virus. Affordable strategies to tackle the problem is a perpetual struggle.

“This pilot project, generously co-funded by Glyntraian Community Council and the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall, is an attempt to combat an issue that people, especially the older and less mobile members of our community fear with the onset of winter.”

“It’s a positive way to bring the communities of Chirk and the Ceiriog Valley together and one that I am delighted to be involved in. If audience figures are good across the three screenings, we hope to lend further support to a potential bid to Arts Council Wales for a permanent digital screen and projector for the hall,” added the 23-year-old.

Tickets are priced at £5 for adults and £4 for under 16s – less than half the average ticket price at the headline cinema in Wrexham.

Holly added: “There’s plenty of free parking on site, and we hope that people will take the opportunity to car share.

“It’s a very simple way to connect with near neighbours as well as reducing travel costs and carbon footprint.”

Anyone registering as a car share driver on arrival will be entered into a free prize draw with a chance to win two tickets to the next screening in January. 

The doors open from 6pm when guests can purchase affordably priced beer, wines, soft drinks and a selection of snacks in the lead up to the film beginning at 7pm. 

Tickets are available online at artsalive.co.uk and can also be bought from Pontfadog Post Office or on the door on the night. Reservations can also be made by messaging the Oliver Jones Film Club Facebook page. 

The inaugural screening is sponsored by Double.LL Magazine, the hyper local community magazine for Chirk and the Ceiriog Valley.



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