VOLUNTEERS WEEK, SAM WATLING

I’m happier, more confident and am even looking at starting a business to try and enable me to do even more of these events across my city.

I’ve been running Film at the Folk Hall for over 3 years now. I was in a bit of a rut with the work I was doing a few years back and found myself feeling a bit lost and uncertain about the future. A good friend of mine asked if I ever did anything for anyone else or volunteered my time to something. It was a fair question, I felt like my whole life revolved around others but I had little tangible to show for it and it certainly hadn’t been helping my mental state. After a very quick look around my local area I found a Community Cinema struggling to fund itself and in need of support. It was a no brainer. I love movies and I love people and I reached out. Three years on I’m running it and it’s become a complete passion project. With my awesome team of volunteers we have built the audience from an average of 38 to 75 and we’re able to run free social impact events on a regular basis. I’m still doing exactly the same work but now balance has been restored. I’m happier, more confident and am even looking at starting a business to try and enable me to do even more of these events across my city.

Our next screening is First Man and it will be our first ‘Pay it Forward’ event. We won’t be charging a penny for the tickets but will have a collection for York’s Foodbank and will be extending the chance for our audience to go out there and do something good for someone else following the event. It can be anything they want, giving blood, or having a coffee and a chat with a homeless person. Perhaps catching up with an old friend who needs cheering up. Whatever it is, we believe that doing something nice for someone else is win-win every time and has real power in it for both parties involved. We’re asking for our audience to share their ‘Planned-in acts of kindness’ with us so watch this space to see if our little social experiment works!

Find out more about Film at the Folk Hall here.