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Service user with Liz Harris

Bedfordshire-based charity and care provider for people with learning disabilities, The Fremantle Trust, teamed up with community cinema scheme, Zonita, and fellow charities, Macintyre and Leonard Cheshire, to host an evening of singing and dancing with a screening of Mamma Mia at Parkside Hall, Ampthill.

The Fremantle Trust’s head of learning disability services, Liz Harris, was inspired to contact Andy Melville from Zonita to organise a special screening for people living with learning disabilities supported by the Trust. The result was a fun-filled evening where attendees were temporarily transported to the idyllic Greek setting via a cinema experience that involved full audience participation.

Keen to embrace the theme, Liz and the accompanying audience of 160 local people donned their Abba costumes and ensured they were ‘on song’ to belt out the classics from the global cinema hit.

The event was a great example of local collaboration to create an interactive, memorable experience.

Commenting on the event, Liz Harris, said:

It was a phenomenal team effort and a truly enjoyable evening for everyone. The feedback has been tremendous from everyone involved. By working together with Zonita and other local charities, we were able to recreate an authentic cinema experience, which everyone was fully immersed in. It also gave us the freedom to sing and dance and really get into the spirit of the evening.

Emma Hunter, from The Fremantle Trust’s Supported Living Service in Milton Keynes, said:

I had a great night as Mamma Mia is one of my favourite films. I would like to go to another night out like this. Maybe Grease would be another good choice.

Andy Melville, lead from Zonita, added:

It was a brilliant evening, attracting the biggest audience we’ve had at the venue and it’s certainly something we would consider doing again. It was great that The Fremantle Trust were able to bring together charities for people with learning disabilities in our local community for a really memorable experience.

The Fremantle Trust is now working closely with Zonita and other charities to consider future screenings and a longer-term partnership.

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