The AV charity scheme Together for Cinema has completed a new installation, providing Helen House Hospice with a fully specified home cinema room. The children and young adults can now enjoy films independently, thanks to the generosity and dedication from members of the residential custom install industry.
Helen & Douglas House is an independent charity running two hospice houses located on the outskirts of Oxford. Helen House was the world’s first children’s hospice, opening in 1982, while Douglas House opened in 2004, specifically for young adults aged 16-35. Helen & Douglas House has the time and expertise to care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions and support for their families. The two hospice houses offer specialist symptom and pain management, medically-supported short breaks and end-of-life care, as well as counselling and practical support for the whole family.
With Helen Hospice undergoing some richly deserved refurbishment, the timing was perfect for a cinema room to be planned and installed. “We wanted to pay attention to how technology could improve the experience of the children who visit the hospice, and enable their independence, learning and enjoyment of the environment,” comments Sarah Westmorland, Director of People Resourcing and Operations, Helen & Douglas House. “The installation of a cinema room fitted perfectly with the plans and created a real buzz amongst staff and patients as they waited for the new building to be completed.”
The project, like all of those that have gone before, relies entirely on the generosity of the AV industry and in particular an installer willing to become involved. Having previously worked on the project at Chestnut Tree Hospice in Arundel, Iain Brown of Kensington Home Technology asked Ian Morrish, founder of Together for Cinema, to bear him in mind for another install. When this project came about, Iain agreed to take on his second installation, the first installer to do so. Having met with the staff at Helen House, an appropriate room was decided upon and a preferred kit list assembled.
“When Ian Morrish contacted me earlier in the year about Helen & Douglas House, we were delighted to get involved” said Iain Brown, Kensington Home Technology. “We visited the site whilst the new construction was being undertaken and established a preferred kit list based on the layout and construction of the room. The room has multiple uses so we needed to design a system that provided the performance we needed but provided the low impact and usability that the client required. Once again our suppliers were more than happy to be a part of the project and sourcing of our preferred kit list was achieved very quickly. The installation was relatively straightforward as we had carried out a detailed pre-install survey and identified all potential issues prior to commencing works.”
The kit list was, as ever, very ambitious yet due to Ian’s contacts within the industry, all of the equipment was sourced quickly. Brands such as Crestron, Dataflow, Epson, Gefen, Humax, Kaleidescape, Monitor Audio, Velodyne and Yamaha all generously donated, ensuring a wonderful cinema experience could be created at the hospice.
The installation was completed in a couple of days and a final day was needed to finish the programming and commission the system. The children at the hospice have made good use of the cinema so far, summarising: “Best of all is the sound can be turned up really loud and nobody tells us off and it makes our skin tingle and belly wobble.”
All products and services were sourced, supplied and installed free of any charge. The approximate total cost of the install, including consultation, installation, products and any other associated costs would normally have been in the region of £16,000 for an end user price. Kensington Home Technology has also committed to be available for any servicing and technical queries post install.
“Once again the whole experience has been very positive and I hope that the children get to enjoy the room for many years to come” adds Iain. “We are pleased to say that we have already signed up for our 2015 project.”
People involved in making it happen:
Ian Morrish, Sales Manager, Integrated Systems Europe
Iain Brown, Kensington Home Technology