Cinema trip is just the ticket for Leeds kids with learning disabilities

Julie Britton and daughter Connie Seabourne were among those attending the event.
Julie Britton and daughter Connie Seabourne were among those attending the event.

Children with learning disabilities enjoyed a blockbusting day out thanks to a link-up between Barclays and East End Park-based charity Leeds Mencap.

A free and accessible screening for the youngsters at Showcase Leeds Cinema de Lux of Cars 3 was made possible by donations from customers of Barclays Corporate Banking.

The film was shown with lower lighting and sound than usual on two of the cinema’s screens at an event that was open to all families in Leeds with a child with a learning disability.

Nearly 180 people attended the screening, which also raised more than £8,000 for Leeds Mencap through extra donations from Barclays and its customers.

The charity’s chief executive, Cath Lee, said: “We are so grateful to Barclays for running a free cinema screening for a second year for families across Leeds.

“Last year’s film was The BFG and the event was such a big hit with the families – some hadn’t been to a cinema before with their children, and they loved it.

“Having a child with a learning disability can mean it is often difficult to access activities like this, so we are so grateful to Barclays and all their customers who bought tickets so families can attend.”

Barclays relationship director Jon Lowe said: “Last year’s cinema event for Leeds Mencap was so special that we just had to go ‘bigger and better’ in 2017 with the addition of a second screen which has enabled our friends at Leeds Mencap to extend the invitation to a greater number of families.”

Leeds Mencap moved into its purpose-built home on East End Park’s Vinery Terrace last year following fundraising by supporters including Barclays.

The charity is now focused on raising funds so it can expand its services to meet growing demand across Leeds.