Ian Morrish, Founder,
Together For Cinema
Who are you?
I am another one of us who stumbled into the industry many years ago (in the mid 90’s) and have now decided that I rather enjoy not only the industry, but also the people and the whole AV environment. I set up my business in 1993 and a few years later I began creating product brochures for Hi-Fi retailers such as Audio T and Rayleigh Hi-Fi. In 1999 I started 8 years of contracted work with CEDIA helping them with their Expo and since 2007 I have been Sales Manager of the ISE show in Amsterdam.
With this background I am fortunate to know many people in the industry which has helped me co-ordinate the work that I have initiated with Together for Short Lives.
Who are Together for Short Lives?
Together for Short Lives is the leading UK charity for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and all those who support, love and care for them. We support families, professionals and services, including all 53 children’s hospice services. Our work helps to ensure that children can get the best possible care, wherever and whenever they need it.
How did you become involved with the charity?
In March of 2009 I was watching a programme called The Secret Millionaire and featured on this was a holiday home for terminally ill children and their families in Blackpool. I couldn’t help but be moved by this and rather than simply donate I contacted them to see if we (as the AV industry) could do anything to help. To cut a long story short about 12 months later a well received Cinema log cabin was opened. This success, and understanding of how the cinema was appreciated, led to me contacting Together for Short Lives to see if we could help any of the children’s hospice services that they support. As September 2015 we have now completed 15 Cinema Rooms for children’s hospice services across the UK and our target is to complete a total of 25 before 2020.
How is the industry getting behind Together for Short Lives?
I have been staggered by how the industry has got behind the work that we’re doing. Bearing in mind no money has ever changed hands (all expenses are met by the individuals themselves), the industry have really stepped up to help. Be it PR assistance from Wildwood, exposure from our trade media, stock management from AWE, product donations from manufacturers and distributors or assistance from several installers the industry has really embraced this work and I thank everyone who has played a part in making it happen. A big thank you must also go to my colleagues at CEDIA as their support and willingness to help has been invaluable.
Which CI businesses have supported the charity?
Wow...! Where do I begin? So many companies and individuals have helped that I’m frightened to mention anyone in fear of not mentioning everybody. However, I will risk it and for their installation help I would mention the likes of ET Home Cinema, Kensington Home Technology, Positive Cabling, DSE Digital, Loud and Clear,
Rayleigh Hi-Fi, Decorum Technology, RGB Communications, Habitech and Pulse Marketing. As for product support there really are too many to mention but those that have supported multiple times include Redline with their Velodyne sub-woofers, RGB Communications with their Middle Atlantic racks, Control4, Kaleidescape, Crestron and particularly Epson who very kindly donated 20 projectors!. There are at least another 30 brands that have somehow been involved and my thanks goes to everyone.
Personal thanks must go to James Johnson-Flint who has offered me unlimited support at the start of the work which I have only had to utilise a couple of times, thank you James for your support and also your supportive emails.
What have you achieved?
The obvious statement to make is that so far we’ve achieved 15 Cinema Rooms in children’s hospices, where seriously ill children and their families can enjoy what we’ve made happen. Making a little bit of difference is a great thing and I know everyone involved has enjoyed their involvement. Beyond the 15 installs I think the industry has found a charitable route that sits comfortably with everyone, as it delivers our everyday work to children and families that need our support.
How can more CI businesses get involved?
To hit the target of 25 cinema rooms in children’s hospice services by 2020, we need to create two or three rooms every year. To achieve this we need continued assistance and to have a bank of installers around the country ready to take on an install and a list of distributors and/or manufacturers ready to donate product.