NOVA Cinema welcomed more than 50 Ukrainian refugee children to a special screening of Minions: The Rise of Gru last week.

In a collaboration with Woking Borough Council, the cinema entertained the children from local charity The Lighthouse, which supports Ukrainian refugees.

Borough councillor Ellen Nicholson, whose portfolio includes leisure and culture, said: “I’m very pleased that we [the council] could facilitate a visit to the cinema for the new residents, and glad that they enjoyed the opportunity to view the film.”

The children gathered in the cinema foyer after the film to treat staff members to a singsong, complete with the waving of Ukrainian flags.

Erik Jespersen, co-founder and director of The Lighthouse, said: “The Lighthouse charity is absolutely delighted that Nova Cinema has made this treat possible for Ukrainian refugee children.

“Bringing a little fun and joy into their lives is a wonderful thing to do, considering the hardship and trauma they’ve endured.

“The Lighthouse charity runs a weekly refugee hub that is supporting hundreds of Ukrainian refugees, working alongside local partners to provide them with essential clothing, food, school equipment, art therapy, employment advice, haircuts, community meals, and much more.”

JJ Almond, venue director of Nova Cinema, said: “We were overjoyed to be able to collaborate with Woking Borough Council and The Lighthouse to welcome these children.

“The Lighthouse is a brilliant local charity that supports, encourages and empowers those who find themselves on the margins, including these young Ukrainian refugees.

“We hoped they enjoyed their visit and watching Minions: The Rise of the Gru, and we cannot wait to welcome them back again soon.”

FOR more information on the Ukrainian hub, visit For programmes, timings and to book, visit