Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Ken Loach supports film showing to mark homeless charity’s 20th anniversary

FILM director Ken Loach plans to be at a special showing of his landmark TV drama Cathy Come Home in Chippenham to mark the 20th anniversary of the homeless charity Doorway.

The ground-breaking drama, which lifted the lid on the issue of homelessness and is credited with changing peoples’ attitudes towards it, is being shown at the Neeld Hall at 7pm on Thursday, March 14. Tickets are just £10.

Doorway, based at The Citadel in Chippenham, supports people to make positive changes to their lives, including moving from rough sleeping to permanent accommodation and increasing confidence and skills via groups and courses delivered by partner agencies. The charity provides food, showers, clean clothes and company; it improves access to local services by making direct in-person referrals to housing, health, addiction and other professionals.

CEO Jo Kitching said the film showing is a fitting and powerful way to mark two decades of its work:

“Cathy Come Home ignited the debate about homelessness in 1966 and is still so relevant now, as homelessness is again on the increase not just here but throughout the country.

“While much has changed for the better since the film was made, there is still so much to be done, and here is a sharp reminder that we are all only a few steps away from homelessness ourselves.”

Mr Loach, who lives near Bath and went on to direct films such as Looking For Eric and I, Daniel Blake, is a long-standing supporter of homelessness initiatives. He hopes to be available to introduce the film and share his insights on the issues it portrays.

Mrs Kitching said the audience will have the rare opportunity to hear from a prominent voice who has championed social justice through his captivating storytelling.

Ken Loach supports film showing to mark homeless charity's 20th anniversary
Carol White and Ray Brooks in Ken Loach’s landmark 1966 drama Cathy Come Home.

She said:

“We are thrilled that Ken Loach hopes to introduce the film thereby helping re-ignite an important debate. We encourage everyone to attend this memorable event and join us in our fight against homelessness.”

The drama, starring Carol White and Ray Brooks, was first shown in 1966 as a BBC Wednesday Play and caused controversy with its no-holds-barred portrayal of a young mum caught in an impossible, inhuman housing and social services system, which leaves her homeless.

It led to public outrage, a surge in donations to the charity Shelter and the founding of the charity Crisis the following year.

Tickets are available from the Neeld Community and Arts Centre for £10 each, £8 concessions, at boxoffice@chippenham.gov.uk or 01249 446699. Find out more about Doorway’s work at doorwayproject.org.uk.

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