Villagers in Aberdeenshire have set up a DVD delivery project where they provide DVD entertainment to vulnerable members in their community. This had been due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to many vulnerable members in society having to shield from the virus, staying at home and preventing them from having as much of a social life than before the pandemic.
The organisation responsible for the project is called Lumphanan Moving Pictures and consists of volunteers that organise rural cinemas in villages monthly. Because of the virus, this has not been possible to do so. Instead this non-profit organisation has been combatting social isolation by delivering DVDs and holding film nights and quizzes online for members of their community.
This new scheme has been named the “bags of cinema sunshine” project where numerous residents have donated DVDs to be distributed to other residents who are shielding or lonely in isolation.
To make this service as safe as possible, all the DVDs are properly sanitised and quarantined. PPE clothing is worn to deliver the DVDs to the vulnerable residents too.
Not only have individuals living alone benefited from this project, but care homes and other charities in the North-eastern area have also benefitted from this project.
Using the idea to deliver DVD's has been important as not everyone is able to afford streaming services during the pandemic that has been devastating for jobs and the UK economy. Streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime all come at an expensive cost when combined each year. The advantages of DVDs are that they are cheaper and easier to gift and give away.
Many of the vulnerable persons shielding are elderly and DVDs are something which is more recognisable and accessible to the older generation as opposed to streaming services. Furthermore, streaming services tend to hold a maximum of four people on one account which isn’t economical for a large community of shielding individuals. People can get a lot more out of a DVD and it is more personal and an experience in itself to have solid DVD and not just a “download” for your computer.
The project has also reused many DVDs that otherwise would have just been dumped by residents in the village. It has given the DVDs a new home and purpose.
This project has also benefited the volunteers themselves; giving them something to focus on during the pandemic and the feeling like they are really making a positive difference to society.