Enabling Love a possibility at the movies

Enabling Love chief executive officer Joshua Perry (front) and  members (from left) Robyn...
Enabling Love chief executive officer Joshua Perry (front) and members (from left) Robyn Harrison, Danny Sapsforde and Philip Lomas relished the chance to attend a film at the Regent Theatre yesterday. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Many a romance has blossomed in the back row of a movie theatre.

It was something Joshua Perry was counting on yesterday when he made a special booking at  the Regent Theatre for a New Zealand International Film Festival screening of Puzzle,  an American drama which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Mr Perry, who has cerebral palsy, is  chief executive officer of Enabling Love,  a Dunedin organisation aimed at bringing people with disabilities together for  friendships or  romances.

"The idea behind it is to try to give disabled people the opportunity to attend mainstream events.

"And there’s always the hope some of them might make friends or find a partner in the process."

He said Enabling Love’s goal was to break down barriers for disabled people when it came to social situations, friendships and relationships, by organising events and outings to get individuals out into the community.

"Some people with disabilities often have low to no income and can end up feeling left out.

"The film festival is a safe environment for people who are isolated or lonely, with disability, to meet and form new relationships."

He tried to organise at least one event per month, and was delighted  two couples had found love so far at his events.

Mr Perry approached Regent Theatre director Sarah Anderson with a proposal to help give his 148-strong membership the chance to access the festival more easily and affordably.

The theatre offered a special $10 ticket price.

About a dozen members took up the offer.


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