18 March 2024

Westminster’s Monday Classic Matinée runs every week and is open to Westminster residents over 55 to reduce isolation, encourage social engagement and foster friendships. Each week, the historic Regent Street Cinema screens a film and provides a space for the regular attendees to socialise with their fellow film fans at a subsidised ticket price.

Matinée Classics is about prevention and targets people over 55 who are most at risk of social isolation and loneliness within the borough of Westminster and wider London community. Originally, Westminster worked in partnership with Open Age, Opening Doors London and Age UK in identifying the need for this project, attracting those who would most benefit, and established an acceptable ticket price which made Matinée Classics accessible to all. The University also allocates tickets to the Carers Network and since 2018 there have been over 800 visits from this target group alone.

Since the programme began there have been over 60,000 visits, with 63% of attendees reporting in a survey that they had recommended Matinée Classics to others. In the most recent survey, 95% of attendees felt they had “made a friend”.

The programme contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 Good Health and Wellbeing and 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. Since 2019, the University of Westminster has used the SDGs holistically to frame strategic decisions to help students and colleagues fulfil their potential and contribute to a more sustainable, equitable and healthier society.

Jules Attanayake, Development Manager at the University of Westminster, said: “I would like to thank the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation on behalf of the University for their generous support to our community engagement programme to reduce isolation in older people. Charitable donations such as theirs continue to ensure our programme is supported and accessible for older people across the borough and I can’t thank them enough.”

Find out how you can support the programme as part of Regency Seniors at the University of Westminster.