Together For Cinema became a Companies House registered Community Interest Company in February 2023, and acts as a conduit between the consumer electronics and custom integration communities, and not-for-profit charitable activities.
Becoming a CIC gives Together For Cinema greater robustness and credibility and will help to secure its future and its ability to continue to deliver cinema rooms to good causes. The formalisation also sees the appointment of four directors as follows:
Each has the responsibility to protect and cradle the business, the main drive being to ensure that the good work continues.
The organisation’s key focus is on designing and installing home cinema rooms in children’s hospices and other suitable locations across the UK. These installed entertainment rooms not only benefit children and young adults, but also their families, carers, staff and volunteers. Together For Cinema also finds homes for dated, secondhand and B-stock audiovisual equipment in facilities that otherwise would not have had a budget to acquire them. This practice enhances our partners’ operational processes, without taking sales away from AV manufacturers or distributors. Together For Cinema has comprehensive support and backing from the consumer electronics industries and, consequently, all products and installation services are generously donated.
We believe Together For Cinema is a force for pure good.
Ian Morrish says he “stumbled” into the AV industry in the early 1990s and quickly realised that while he enjoyed the commercial side of the business, he also drew immense satisfaction from engaging with the people and the environment in which they worked. He set up his own business in 1993 and, a few years later, began creating product brochures for Hi-Fi retailers, such as Audio T and Rayleigh Hi-Fi.
In 1999, he began eight years of contract work for CEDIA EMEA, helping the group develop the UK Expo. From 2007 to 2020, Ian was international sales manager for the ISE show in Amsterdam and played a key role growing the event to become the largest AV tradeshow in the world. He left ISE in February 2020 and, after some time out due to COVID, was persuaded by industry colleagues to commit fulltime to running Together For Cinema.
With over 30 years in the industry, he considers himself fortunate to know so many people. He believes this fact has helped him to promote Together For Cinema and unify the AV industry in a shared goal of making a real difference in the community.
In March of 2009, Ian Morrish was watching The Secret Millionaire TV programme on which was featured a holiday home for children with short lives, and their families, in Blackpool. Moved by this story - and rather than choosing to simply donate to the cause – he contacted the holiday home organisers to see if there was anything the AV industry at large could do to help. Approximately 14 months later, Ian and his team had created a cinema room in one of the log cabins donated by The Secret Millionaire.
This initial success, and Ian’s acknowledgement of how the cinema was appreciated, led to him contact Together for Short Lives, a large UK charity with 54 children’s hospices under its umbrella. After several meetings and conversations, Together For Cinema was born and set a target to complete 25 cinema room installations by the end of 2020. In September 2020, Together For Cinema achieved this goal with a combined installation value amounting to well over half a million pounds.
Together For Cinema is the ‘coming together’ of the AV industry for the common goal of giving back to the community. TFC is extremely fortunate to work with many hugely supportive individuals and companies. As well as founder and front man Ian Morrish, below is a list of several key partners who contribute to making TFC and its projects a reality.
Various media personnel have kindly taken the time to contribute to the cause by providing progress reports and articles, several of which regularly appear in esteemed print and online publications, such as Essential Install, Hidden Wires, Inside CI, CE Pro and, of course, CEDIA Communicates. TFC is also gratefully supported by The Integrated Home Podcast, while Essential Install also generously donates a stand at the EI Live! show each year.
Seven operational partners offer everything from insurance services, accounting assistance, website development, warehousing, networking and public relations. TFC is fortunate to have enough support to cover many of the day-to-day operational activities that the organisation would otherwise struggle to maintain sufficiently.
The key to the completion of any cinema installation rests in the ability to secure the services of qualified and passionate installers. TFC has been fortunate to work many high-calibre individuals and companies over the past few years, and the professional results they achieve surely speak for themselves. Taking on one of TFC’s projects is a huge commitment. Every installer testifies to the profound effect the experience of working on one of these hospice cinemas has upon them. Additionally, CEDIA has been integral in helping TFC reach out to its membership. The enviable result means access to a stream of highly-skilled, professional installers with whom to engage.
With so many installations now complete, it is perhaps unsurprising that there is a multitude of companies which have generously donated products to make these cinema rooms happen. There are far too many to mention individually, suffice to say that about 100 manufacturers and distributors who have kindly helped TFC along the way. As ever, Together For Cinema extends its heartfelt thanks to all those respective companies involved. The organisation could not achieve what it does without such munificence.
For further detail of Together For Cinema’s supporting partners please go to https://togetherforcinema.co.uk/our-sponsors-and-partners/.
Although Together For Cinema’s journey kicked off in 2009, it wasn’t until March 2021 that any monies actually changed hands, and the reasons behind this have already been explained. From March 2021, the audiovisual and associated industries started officially allocating grants to help fund the operation, and this funding is now essential to securing both the future of, and the development of, Together For Cinema.
TFC currently has over 70 'charitable partners' allocating grant funding who, between them, contribute to hitting the budgetary goals required to shore up the annual operational expenditure. Without these grants, the organisation and its activities simply would not be able to continue. Therefore, the more grants we secure, the more TFC can give back to the community.
There are also some fundraising activities in the planning stage, and these will make a huge difference as they will enable TFC to put some ‘icing on the cake’ of both existing and future projects.
For further detail of Together For Cinema’s charitable partners please go to https://togetherforcinema.co.uk/our-sponsors-and-partners/.
Perhaps the most prescient achievement is Together For Cinema’s delivery of 42 cinema room installations in children’s hospices and other deserving venues across the UK. If these were normal ‘paid for’ installations, they would have cost more than £1,000,000. However, few would argue that the most satisfying accomplishment is the positive difference this coming together of AV industry bodies has made to the lives of so many children, their families, carers, and anyone associated with the management of such challenging circumstances. TFC has also endeavoured to set up a recycling programme to donate dated, secondhand and/or B-stock equipment to good causes.
Beyond the above achievements, it has been a wonderful journey consolidating the efforts of the AV industry through intensive collaboration to facilitate these experiences for children a reality. TFC has identified a charitable route that sits comfortably with everyone involved, as it delivers so comprehensively for the children and families that so badly need the support.
To continue to bring the cinema experience into children’s hospices and other deserving facilities, Together For Cinema intends to create many more dedicated rooms and further assist good causes. To achieve this, TFC requests continued assistance from generous individuals in five key areas:
What TFC does is a force for pure good with no hidden agenda. Please talk about Together For Cinema in social media and print platforms by sharing posts and articles, and encouraging others to get behind the cause.
For every installation, TFC needs products such as projectors, screens, AV Receivers, speakers, cables, Blu-Ray players, etc. For many projects, there is also a need for automated blinds, lighting, seating and other accessories. Please donate what you can. Maybe you can commit to two or three items a year?
TFC currently operates solely in the UK so if you are able to help project manage an installation, please let us know. TFC will add you to the growing list of willing installers and, when we have something in your area, we will be in touch.
Together For Cinema currently relies predominantly on grant funding by individuals and companies within the AV industry. Manufacturers, distributors, installers and individuals have all stepped up and contributed to help secure the day-to-day operation of the organisation. Grant Packages start at £500 per calendar year, but please be as generous as you can.
Any extra monies raised will always be put to excellent use. The budget is agreed, approved and transparent, so please fundraise with the confidence that every penny will be put to optimal and efficient use. Fundraisers and donors will be clearly informed of how their money is distributed and allocated.
The Future: Targets and Developments
With 42 good cause cinema room installations delivered, at an accepted installation value of over £1,000,000, Together For Cinema is looking forward to the future with great anticipation. TFC’s targets and aspirations comprise the following:
If you feel you can help Together For Cinema with any of the above, please get in touch.
Together For Cinema is an established Community Interest Company that has so far been embraced by hundreds of dedicated professionals, donors, partners and fundraisers from the AV industry. The organisation has a secure and bright future, and we will work tirelessly to further what we can to deliver to good causes.
Finally, we extend our sincere thanks to all of you that are helping to bring joy to those who need it most. Please remember that the more assistance that we get, the more we can give back.