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Swedish film-maker's generosity for charity

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Mikey and Rachel chatting over a cup of tea

Mikey and Rachel chatting over a cup of tea

Mikey and Rachel chatting over a cup of tea

Three friends with support needs are the stars of a new video by a celebrated independent documentary film-maker.

Film-maker Matthew D'Arcy has been working on location in Sligo, filming a documentary funded by the Swedish Film Institute.

Despite a busy schedule, Matthew found time to film Mikey, Malachy and Rachel, showing how they live independent lives with the support of StepIn Independent Living.

Matthew's involvement was arranged by Brian Feeney, of Rosses Point, who has been closely involved in the Roscommon-based charity's work, which enables people with intellectual disabilities to live independently in the heart of their communities.

Brian said: "Matthew is a top-class film-maker. His latest project involves the fascinating story of a Londoner who disappeared … and then reappeared some time later in Sligo with a new name and a new life.

"The project demands all his attention but he still found time to use his skills for our local charity.

"It was an immense act of generosity to offer his talent in explaining the charity's work."

The new charity video is being launched on YouTube on Thursday, August 13th and due for screening at conferences.

Matthew, who cut his teeth with the BBC and Channel 4 making shows such as The Great British Bake Off, follows the friends as they go about their lives: shopping at the supermarket; chatting with the staff; sharing a cup of tea at home; doing the household chores; watching a video together.

The film is intended to show how it's possible to live with real independence - more fulfilled, engaged lives as good neighbours in the community.

Matthew said:"You got a strong sense of how the members can help each other with life and the outside world, and that I suppose is the point of the network. Mikey and Mal sat down to watch a film together.

"By now I'd stopped seeing them as disabled and just saw them as a couple of mates sharing a house, as most of us have done at some point in our lives."

Tea with Mikey is released on YouTube on Thursday, August 13th, on the StepIn Independent Living channel. It may also be viewed at www.stepin.ie.

Film-maker Matthew D'Arcy is currently working on a documentary funded by the Swedish Film Institute that traces the life story of an artist in Sligo and Donegal after mysteriously disappearing from London.

Sligo Champion