MediCinema and Newcastle Hospitals Charity celebrated their new funding partnership this week (Tuesday 15th June) with a special pre-release screening of Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear and a commitment to run an additional film screening each week for patients.
Thanks to Disney’s gift bags, fun activity sheets and a balloon entertainer, children, and their families from the Great North Children’s Hospital – part of Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) – were treated to this extra-special preview screening at the RVI MediCinema, featuring the voice of Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear. This made the young patients amongst the first in the country to see the film before its nationwide release on Friday 17th June.
This new strategic partnership between Newcastle Hospitals Charity and MediCinema will enable even more patients and families in the hospital to benefit from the therapeutic film screenings.
A grant worth more than £128,000, a third of which is from Newcastle Hospitals Charity’s dedicated Great North Children Hospital Foundation funds, will support the running costs of the RVI MediCinema for the next three years, enabling the facility to show a wider range of films and to increase from three to four weekly screenings.
Paul Giggal, MediCinema Chief Operating Officer said; “I could not think of a better way to start our new partnership with Newcastle Hospitals Charity than seeing the smiles and surprise on the faces of all the children and the families last night. We know how much of a positive impact it has for the patients to be able to safely leave the wards and watch a movie together with their loved ones. It brings a lot of joy and relief to patients, and we are so grateful to the Charity for committing to this three-year funding support and are incredibly proud to be working together.”
Jon Goodwin, Head of Grant Programmes at Newcastle Hospitals Charity said: “We know just how valuable the MediCinema is to our patients, and we were delighted to be able to offer our support to this excellent facility. The additional screening will allow many more young people to enjoy a cinema experience whilst undergoing care at the Great North Children’s Hospital and we are honoured to play a part in bringing them the magic of the big screen.”
Four-year-old Kyle was at this extra special screening and his mum Jenna told us, “It was a lovely surprise to visit the cinema and get to see Lightyear at such a stressful time and we really enjoyed the film – it was a very welcomed distraction. It was Kyle’s first cinema experience, and he has not stopped talking about it! He has carried his Disney bag and Buzz Lightyear everywhere with him since.”
During the pandemic, the MediCinema at the RVI was the only one to stay open after initial restrictions were lifted in August 2020, and at times was the only operating cinema in the country.
This special screening took place thanks to MediCinema working in partnership with Disney, a long-term supporter of the charity. Disney have created a number of once-in-a-lifetime activities across MediCinema sites, bringing the power of their stories and characters to help build emotional resilience, together creating Moments that Matter for children and those closest to them.
We know just how valuable the MediCinema is to our patients, and we were delighted to be able to offer our support to this excellent facility. The additional screening will allow many more young people to enjoy a cinema experience whilst undergoing care at the Great North Children’s Hospital and we are honoured to play a part in bringing them the magic of the big screen.Jon Goodwin Head of Grant Programmes at Newcastle Hospitals Charity