BRINGING HOME CINEMA
TO CHILDREN WITH SHORT LIVES
Demelza Children’s Hospice, Sittingbourne, Kent
Demelza Children’s Hospice is located in Sittingbourne in Kent, and is part of the Together For Short Lives group, formerly known as Children’s Hospices UK. 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. They support families, professionals and services, including 52 children’s hospices in the UK, and their work helps to ensure that children can get the best possible care, wherever and whenever they need it.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
It was actually in September of 2012 that one of the volunteers at Demelza Children’s Hospice contacted me following their reading of an article in Home Cinema Choice magazine about the work that our industry had been doing to bring the joy of cinema into children’s hospices. This initial contact led to a further contact in April 2013 with John Hotham, the head of IT at Demelza, who read about our work in the Together For Short Lives newsletter. A meeting was set for August 1st, 2013 for me to view the location and determine which room might be most appropriate for the cinema installation.
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
In August 2011 there was an article in SVI magazine about our first cinema installation at Donna’s Dream House in Blackpool. As a result of this coverage Del Smith of Positive Cabling Solutions contacted me by email on August 30th, 2011 offering his help on an appropriate installation. Offers of assistance are much appreciated and having spoken to Del I ‘banked’ his email until an appropriate installation needed an installer. It was about 18 months later that I contacted Del and asked if he might be interested in helping with the installation at Demelza and there was no question…, he was on board!
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
On 1st August, 2013 Del Smith, from Positive Cabling, and myself met with John Hotham at Demelza Children’s Hospice in Sittingbourne to view the prospective room and consider what options would be suitable for the install. The room was perfect for a cinema installation but had to remain multi-function and discrete as it was to remain a multi-purpose room and it was attached to their chapel area. With this in mind Del and I discussed product solutions and drew up a preferred kit list based on what we had in storage, what we had promised and what we felt was needed for the end result. This we did and then came the challenge of actually getting the product donated.
SOURCING OF PRODUCT:
With RTI being the preferred control brand it was important to get them committed early and I am delighted to say that they didn’t hesitate to support via their UK distributor Invision. With this now secured I set about gathering the other equipment that had been specified and companies such as Arcam, Dataflow IT, Epson (via Habitech), Focal, Kaleidescape, Middle Atlantic (via RGB Communications), TDI, Velodyne (via Redline Distribution) and Wyrestorm all generously stepped up and contributed, helping transform the room into a wonderful cinema.
An ambitious kit list indeed, but with the right contacts, and a lot of generosity and goodwill, we were able to secure all the products required fairly swiftly. A big thank you to all that have helped to create a very special cinema room that will be used and enjoyed by the kids and their families for many years to come...
Saturday 21st December, 2013
INSTALLER INSTALL COMMENTS:
“It’s been wonderful to experience how people can give. Giving not only some equipment, but at such a high level that most never get the opportunity to not only experience, but even know it is possible.
As an Engineer, to have such equipment to work with was a pleasure in itself.
As all the donations came from various sources I did come across issues to deal with and overcome, mostly to integrate all the donations into a system that works seamlessly.
It would have been impossible for me to integrate everything without the support from those that supplied the equipment. I have learned so much with this project.”
Del Smith, Positive Cabling Solutions Ltd
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Sunday 27th July, 2014.
CUSTOMER POST INSTALL COMMENTS:
“To have the opportunity to offer our service users a full cinema experience has been a dream of ours for a few years, and a question readily requested by our Service users. The initial contact for this project was with Ian and was completely by chance. To our disbelief he beat our expectations by being able to deliver the complete solution cost free in the same financial year!
The initial site meetings were informative, both Del and Ian worked with us to highlight the best space available for the cinema’s position. The project then moved really quickly through product design and sourcing. Installation took place over a few weeks, mainly over weekends, however Del (Positive Cabling) was really amenable to the availability of the space, and worked tirelessly to complete the fantastic resource that we have today. Our Service users and families are thrilled with the end result, and are making really good use of the space.
My team are constantly updating the Kaleidescape Cinema 1 film index to ensure we have new media available, with periods of holiday specials adding a real fun factor to the space. A massive thank you to all involved, this solution gives our families the opportunity to have experiences with their relatives that may not have been previously possible. This fits really well with Demelza’s Ethos of “Adding life to days when days cannot be added to life”
John Hotham, Head of Information & Technology, Demelza Hospice Care for Children
INSTALLER POST INSTALL COMMENTS:
“As I have said, I have learned so much from this project. Not only from a technical perspective, but from a perspective of how limitless “Giving” can be, and how rewarding it is to give. For me, my giving was “time”, giving my time. It became clear to me during the project how precious our time is, especially to those that depend on the likes of Demelza and how little time their loved ones have. For Demelza to be there takes people to give their time and functions from those that give financially also. As I understand, if I have the ability to give to others then I am already privileged and blessed.”
Del Smith, Positive Cabling Solutions Ltd
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
- Arcam (AV Receiver): FMJ AVR450
- Wyrestorm (Cables): EX-1UTP-IR-40 TX/RX HDMI/IR converters
- Invision (Cables): IR cable and 2m HDMI cable
- TDI (Accessories): RS232 Converter
- RTI, donated via Invision (Control): T2x, KX2, ZM-24 2.4ghz and XP6
- Epson, donated by Habitech (Projector): Dreamio EH-TW6000W
- Dataflow IT (Screen): 3m Electric Screen with R/C.
- Kaleidescape (Media Server): Cinema 1
- Focal (Speakers): 5 x IW1002’s and a sub-woofer.
- Middle Atlantic, donated by RGB Communications (Racking): C5 series 2 bay Credenza Rack.
Other accessories were donated directly by Positive Cabling Solutions Ltd
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
- Ian Morrish, Sales Manager, Integrated Systems Europe
- Del Smith, Positive Cabling Solutions Ltd
- All the manufacturers and distributors that supplied the necessary product, all of whom have already been mentioned.
THANK YOU to you all!! …you have all helped create a little bit of magic at Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice.
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.
Positive Cabling Solutions Ltd have also committed to be available for any servicing and technical queries post install.
For Together For Cinema this installation is our 11th completed cinema room in a children’s hospice. With two more due for completion very soon we will (by the time this goes to print) be over halfway to our target of 25 rooms completed by 2020. We then have two more due to start at the end of 2014 that will be completed by the beginning of 2015.
Demelza Children’s Hospice is another fantastic result, with more great support from the industry to help make it happen. Thanks must go to all involved and particularly Del Smith of Positive Cabling Solutions who has given a huge amount of time up to complete the cinema and much of it at the weekends. Del’s efforts, and the generosity of all concerned will make a difference to all those that use the room for many years to come. Very simply, another installation for our industry to be proud of.
Report Created by Ian Morrish. All quotes to be from Ian Morrish, unless otherwise stated.
For further details please contact Ian at:-
Work: 01372 454366
Mobile: 07768 398007