Saffron Screen reaches fundraising target for Go Digital campaign

SAFFRON Screen has exceeded all expectations by raising �67,000 through the Going Digital fundraising campaign.

The cinema recently received grant funding from the Yellow Car Charitable Trust (�10,000) and the Garfield Weston Foundation (�5000).

Adding the grants to the money raised from the BIG Film Quiz and the Saffron Walden Rotary quiz activity, the campaign received a tremendous boost in the past few weeks.

Upon reaching the target, Saffron Screen placed an order for the digital equipment which is expected to be installed by the end of February 2011. A launch party will be organised for March 2011 so that sponsors, supporters and the community can help celebrate this great achievement and the confirmation of Saffron Screen’s long term future.

Chairman Rebecca del Tufo said: “Saffron Screen is delighted to have reached, and exceeded, our fundraising goals. All but �5,000 has been raised locally and we are genuinely touched by the support we have received over the year. Thank you to everyone who has contributed in any way.

“Also, I extend my appreciation to the staff and volunteers of Saffron Screen. The success of the cinema is testament to their hard work both at the cinema and behind the scenes.”

“The extra funding has meant that Saffron Screen can purchase audio description equipment. Through a headset, visually impaired cinema-goers listen to a commentary, in addition to the dialogue, describing body language, expressions, details and movements of the scenes on screen.

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Support4Sight Resource Centre and volunteer manager Paul Atkins said: “Support4Sight is delighted that Saffron Screen will provide an audio description service.

“There are approximately 2000 people with sight related impairments in the Uttlesford area who will greatly benefit from this new service by having it on their door-step. It means they will not have to make what can be, quite often, a difficult journey to other cinemas outside the area.

“This will make a tremendous difference to the lives of local visually impaired people in Saffron Walden and surrounding areas.”

In addition, the new digital equipment means that a wider range of films can be shown with subtitles to help those who are hard of hearing or for whom English is not their first language. Saffron Screen will continue to provide an induction loop for the hearing impaired.

Equally exciting, digital equipment allows Saffron Screen to stream cultural events from around the world into the cinema.

With the equipment ordered, it has been confirmed that Saffron Screen will be showing the following live productions in 2011:

May 29 – Coppelia from The Bolshoi Ballet

June 13 – Macbeth from The Royal Opera House

June 30 – The Cherry Orchard from The National Theatre

Tickets and more information, as well as details of additional screenings, will be available soon.

Speaking about the campaign Saffron Screen development manager Amanda Lightstone said: “We are pleased with the response our campaign has received, especially in light of the recent economic uncertainty.

“I would like to thank the community for their generous donations and involvement in the various fundraising events. And, my appreciation goes to the corporate sponsors for their support early on.”

Saffron Screen is grateful for sponsorship support from Adams Harrison Solicitors, Furniture & Things, Saffron Building Society, Saffron Insurance, and Uttlesford District Council.

Grants were received from the Yellow Car Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Stansted Airport Community Trust and Saffron Walden Town Council.

Launched in February, the Going Digital campaign set out to raise �60,000 to purchase and install new digital projection equipment. It was a capital investment campaign and the funds received through this campaign will go toward the purchase of digital projection equipment as well as the costs incurred in fundraising.