Good Neighbourhood Awards Member Stories

Good Neighbour Awards 2019 – Bringing the community together through film

Written by Patrick Grier

So, it’s been a long journey and we’re now ready to introduce you to our final Good Neighbour Award Winners. Get ready, as this one is a blockbuster! 

Olga Johnson & Wayne Littlechild live in the beautiful town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, in Kent, and they are one of the most popular households in their neighbourhood, as they have a fully working cinema in their garage.

Olga’s husband and Wayne’s father, Barry Littlechild, was a BBC producer and film enthusiast who shared his passion of the big screen with the community, by converting their garage into one of the smallest cinema in the UK over twenty years ago.

With his wife’s and son’s help, he started up a weekly cinema night and transformed their garage into an authentic cinema which seats just 16 people.

When Barry sadly passed away a few years ago, Olga and Wayne decided to carry on his tradition, offering weekly screenings and free refreshments for all of the neighbourhood to enjoy. 

Wayne is now in charge of running the films and is even learning how to use the original film projector. Olga promotes the film screenings on Nextdoor to make sure everyone knows what’s playing and keeps those attending topped up with drinks and snacks. They’ve since become pillars in their community, providing a place for multiple generations to come together to enjoy the magic of movies.

Film memorabilia in the cinema

Olga tells us how she recognises the issue of loneliness in her community and that sometimes people simply need a location where they can meet up and have a natter together. The cinema serves this purpose as every fortnight they have neighbours come over to sit down together and watch a film, meaning a great deal to them.

Olga also founded the largest food bank in Tunbridge Wells and occasionally asks the cinema visitors if they would like to donate to the cause, which they are very happy to do. 

Olga and Wayne were nominated by their neighbour Jaclyn Yip, who moved to the area with her husband and didn’t know many people. When she saw Olga’s post about the cinema on Nextdoor, she knew it was something she had to check out. They’ve now become the best of friends along with lots of the other neighbours, all because of seeing the post about the cinema screenings on Nextdoor. 

The cinema in action

So, our Good Neighbour Awards for 2019 have come to an end! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the amazing winners and feel inspired to try something neighbourly in your own community. If you do, be sure to tell us about it!

Keep your eyes peeled on the Nextdoor blog as our nominations for our Good Neighbour Awards for 2020 will be opening very soon. We rely on you to tell us about the great things that people are achieving in their communities, it’s what Nextdoor is all about – building stronger, safer and happier communities. 

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