Red Carpet Gala Screening to raise funds for isolated elderly across Hampshire and Dorset

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On the evening of Monday 23rd February (the 110th birthday of Rotary International) business, civic and community leaders from across Wessex will join local and national celebrities at the University of Southampton for a glamorous Red Carpet Gala Screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ forthcoming film The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Thanks to the generosity of 20th Century Fox and the University of Southampton, who are freely providing the screening, all of the money raised from tickets and corporate sponsorship will be granted through Age UK Southampton and Rotary Wessex to take isolated older people to see the film when it opens the following week.

The film is the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which followed British retirees, some of whom are British acting gold including Bill Nighy and Dame Judi Dench, as they travelled to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly began to charm and take over their life. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is all about expanding into a chain of hotels aimed exclusively at an older generation including retirees.

Nick Pollard, co-founder of the Damaris Trust and the main man behind this event says: “It is very exciting to bring different people and organisations together through an event like this – and to make a difference in many people’s lives. I have always been impressed by the commitment of Rotary to service and community, and it is great to celebrate their 110th birthday with them.”

This will be the first ever Rotary Red Carpet Gala Screening in Britain and Ireland. It will also be the public launch of Damaris Silver Screen, a project of Damaris with Age UK, Rotary and the University of Southampton which will seek to reach socially disconnected older people (of whom there are 5 million in the UK) and re-engage them in cinema as an enriching social activity, with benefits for their health and well-being.

Eve Conway, President Elect of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland says: “This is a great way to celebrate Rotary’s 110th Birthday, with the first Rotary Red Carpet Gala Screening in Britain and Ireland and to be making a difference to the lives of isolated elderly people. Rotarians have been actively involved in helping our local community and supporting those in need, both at home and overseas, since 1905. Rotary is a global network of community volunteers.”

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BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

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