SALFORD Foodbank will host a screening of ‘I, Daniel Blake’ at St Philip’s church on Friday 31 March.

The film won the award for Outstanding British Film at the BAFTA Film Awards 2017 and the Cannes 2016 top filmmaking prize, the Palme d’Or.

Salford Foodbank manager, Mark Whittington said: “I saw the film and recognised that many of the people who we help at the food bank are struggling in similar ways to the characters in the film.”

Whittington added: “Last year we helped a guy in his fifties who’d spent his life as a car mechanic, but due to arthritis in both his wrists he was unable to work in that profession any further.”

He was advised he was still fit to work and he had problems navigating the whole benefits system.”

Not having experience in any other field of work meant that he was finding things very difficult.”

Director Ken Loach is known for films such as ‘Kes’ and ‘Looking for Eric’. ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is his second film to receive the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, with his 2006 war drama ‘The wind that shakes the barley’ also claiming the prize.

‘I, Daniel Blake’ is set in the North East of England and follows the story of a former joiner who becomes unable to work due to illness. He is then seen appealing against the state when he is found fit for work by an assessment.

A single mother who has moved to the area from a one roomed homeless hostel in London is also featured and in one scene the central characters are depicted on a visit to their local Foodbank.

Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce changes to welfare when he delivers the 2017 budget today.

Whittington said: “We’ve certainly seen a lot more people over the last year or so.”
“For more than 50% of the people coming to the foodbank, it is due to benefit delays, benefit changes and sanctions.”

When the film was Discussed in parliament, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green admitted he had not seen the film, but emphasised it was a work of fiction and said: “It bears no relationship to the modern benefits system and in particular as I understand it, it is monstrously unfair to jobcentre staff.”

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn recommended the film to both Green and the prime minister. He said: “It is time that we end this institutionalised barbarity against often very vulnerable people.”

The screening will be attended by the Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett and he will take part in the Q & A session after it has finished.

The Screening will take place at 8pm, with doors open from 7:30pm. All profits from tickets will go towards Salford Foodbank. For more ticket information can be found on Eventbrite.

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