On The Seventh Day of Christmas My Wish Came True

ON the seventh day of Christmas, my wish came true for movie tickets

Sandra* has many wishes for Christmas, but pretty high up on the list is the chance to go to a movie again.

Sandra has had many first experiences over the past few months. She has a room of her own in McAuley House, she is free from violence, she is volunteering at Lentil as Anything, and she is surrounded by new friends and caseworkers who care.

Best of all, she has been to a cinema for the first time in her life, and she is still ‘blown away’ by the experience.

“I went to Cinderella at Highpoint. It was brilliant. The cinema was so big, I felt as though I was actually at the ball, the screen was so big,” Sandra said.

“I did not know whether to laugh or cry, it was such a lovely time.”

Movie nights at McAuley House are always popular with the women staying at the house, and those who are now living in their own homes. They either go to Highpoint, Cinema Nova in Carlton and sometimes to Kino in the City.

McAuley Community Services for Women subsidises movie nights, excursions and activities through its recreation program, giving women the opportunity to experience doing something completely different.

Leonie Lawrence, who runs McAuley House’s recreation program, said: “Movies are time out from the everyday worries of being homeless, not feeling well, concerns about what lies ahead in life. It is just a normal fun thing to do with friends.”

Leonie, who joined Sandra for her first movie excursion, said: “It was really amazing to witness a movie with someone who was going through such struggles of her own, who had never been to a cinema and who loved everything about a movie night out.”

The evenings start with dinner at McAuley House or a hot chocolate in a local café before heading in to the cinema. They end with the women analyzing and critiquing the movie or having a laugh and a cry.

“Everyone can relate to movies, and they provide an easy way for our residents to express themselves.

This Christmas our wish list includes movie vouchers which we can provide to women living at McAuley House so they can enjoy cinema outings and the chance to socialise and run their own ‘movie club.”