East Anglia Children's Hospice (EACH)

Location: Milton, Cambridgeshire

It was five years ago in October 2019, that we installed the original cinema room set up at the Milton site of the East Anglia Children’s Hospice group, otherwise known as ‘EACH’. This room had served them well but as with all our installations we like to keep an eye on them and make sure they are delivering as they should do.
Children’s hospices are not just about end of life care; they can often be very happy and fun places where young people can live life to their full potential. They are places where families feel safe, at home and where they can spend quality time together, enabling parents to be parents not caregivers.
EACH care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and support their families. Their family centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management nursing, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies, counselling and volunteer services in the family home; all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
The Milton hospice is one of three in the EACH group and was the fourth children’s hospice ever built. It has six bedrooms for children and four rooms for families to use for overnight stays. There is a multi-sensory room, hydrotherapy pool, music room, play room, teenage room, sensory garden, with specialist outdoor play equipment, and now a fully functioning and updated cinema room.
www.each.org.uk 


HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:

The original cinema room was installed in 2019 and it is one of our post install responsibilities to keep in touch to make sure the room is functioning without any glitches, update technology if required and service on occasion. This contact was made in January 2024 and it was quickly apparent that we needed to arrange a service call to take a look at the control and the projection.
The room had been a great success and was used virtually every day, however, it had not been used since Christmas as the bulb had blown on the projector and the facilities manager at EACH simply hadn’t had time to contact me to arrange a service call. As soon as I realised the room wasn’t being used I tried to contact the original installer but my contact had moved on and I found it difficult to get through to someone who could help.


HOW THE INSTALLER WAS FOUND:

With the original installer proving tricky to pin down I contacted Ian Trudgeon and Aaron Clarke of local installer thinkingbricks who had previously offered their services to help with one of our installations. They responded almost immediately to my tentative ‘would you like to help’ email and we now had the team in place to get the EACH at Milton cinema room back up and running. 


INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:

With Ian and Aaron of thinkingbricks being located locally to EACH in Milton, and with me already knowing the site, it was easy for them to visit directly. This they did on February 29th and identified the challenges that lay ahead. 
A new projector, a new AVR, a new control system and of course a new cable or two! 
Nothing too challenging to secure, but it all still needed to be asked for and donated. With this being a surprise addition to our 2024 schedule it was product that we didn’t expect we were going to have to ask for. However, we needn’t have worried….


SOURCING OF PRODUCT:

With the screen and speakers already in place, and a room that didn’t originally allow for a complex installation, there were only a few items that we needed to complete the upgrade and to get the cinema room back up and running.
Ease of control was key and Snap One again stepped up and were able to donate what we needed from their Control4 range. This control solution made it very easy for Ian and Aaron to leave the staff and families at EACH with a simplified operational guide that was laminated and left in the room. Every install should have one of these!
Masimo Consumer Audio, who own Denon, kindly donated a Denon AVR which met the new technical demands of the projector and made the room easier to operate and hence enjoy. 
The projector was a major change and seeing as we needed an ultra short throw projector our options were a little more limited, however, it was Hisense that Ian and Aaron asked me to contact first and I’m delighted to say that they were keen to help and quickly found a PX1 laser projector that they could donate to the cause. 
Finally, and what has now become a regular gift from Together For Cinema, a 4K 128GB Apple TV box was purchased. Does anyone know how to get these donated?! Please do tell!!!
So…, a great projector, an excellent AVR, reliable control and access to lots of content, we were all set to upgrade the room and make it future proof, well, for a few years at least…
With great relationships and positive partnerships it has become less challenging to secure the equipment that is needed for our installations, however, the impact of these donations is hugely positive as ever.
Thank you again to all who donated… it really is great to work in an industry that is receptive to support such a worthwhile cause.    


INSTALL STARTED:

Tuesday 11th June, 2024.


INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:

Friday 21st June, 2024


OPENING RECEPTION:

This was a small affair at 10am on Wednesday 3rd July. Ian and Aaron from thinkingbricks were there along with some of the staff and care team at EACH, Milton.
Ian and Aaron kindly demonstrated the equipment and  it never ceases to amaze me how our industry develops and continues to deliver staggeringly good product solutions. The operational side aided by the Denon AVR and the Control4 worked seamlessly and was simple to use with a limited number of buttons to press – always a good thing with my limited technical ability!
The Hisense ultra short throw PX1 laser projector delivered a great image even during the middle of the day with the curtains open! 
Even though there were some challenges along the way the end result was excellent and worth the wait to hear how the room will be used, and the impact that it’s made over the years. Great for EACH, Milton to have it back up and running. 


INSTALLER COMMENTS:

“From the moment we first surveyed the Den at East Anglian Children’s Hospice in Milton, we wanted to make the refreshed room perform better, and focus on the user experience being as simple as possible. 
Using the games console controllers to get to content was a difficult process.
So we added an Apple TV, to give easier “up, down, select” access to Disney, iPlayer, YouTube and Netflix content, simply and easily via the Apple menu.
Using Control4, we gave the children and their families the option to use a remote to turn on the room with the “ Big Red” button, and select what they want to watch, either via a large on screen menu or the remote‘s screen itself.
The old 1080p projector had to move aside! With the advanced technology that the new 4K Laser TV from Hisense now offers, the image is clearly visible even in a fully lit room. 
Lighting in the room is important as some users have limited mobility and need to safely use the hoist system or the musical instruments in the room, whilst watching background content.
The limitations of a projector in the room mean this is the ideal Ultra Short Throw solution room (the previously mentioned hoist system prevents using the “normal” ceiling position) 
Importantly, the 4K content from the Apple TV and the games consoles now looks amazing!
The new Denon AVR powers the existing Revel speaker system and subwoofer perfectly, and gave us another brand we trust within the system.
It was a pleasure to work with the manufacturers (Hisense, Control4 and Denon), and particularly Ian from Together For Cinema – his enthusiasm is infectious!
With a simple one page laminated user guide for the room meaning anyone can just come in, relax and enjoy their time in the Den, we think we hit the brief!”
Ian Trudgeon and Aaron Clarke, Directors, thinkingbricks


CUSTOMER COMMENTS:

”The Den is a special room within the hospice that has many purposes. Children and young people and their families have been enjoying the space to watch movies together and play video games and make music ever since its original donation and installation by Together for Cinema and Hughes. Wear and tear over several years of use resulted in a fault in our projector putting it out of action.
I contacted Together for Cinema just for some advice in getting the fault fixed. They really went above and beyond, not only addressing the fault but working together with Thinking Bricks to completely review and upgrade our equipment. They were all very committed to providing us with a user friendly installation that would be simpler for everyone to access. These changes will make The Den an even more utilised area for the children and their families and we are very grateful for all the efforts made to get the room back up and running and even better than before!”
Ben Goddard, Senior Care Assistant, East Anglia Children’s Hospices.

 

KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:

- Denon (AV Receiver), kindly donated by Masimo Consumer Audio: Denon AVR-S 770H.
- Hisense (Projector): PX1 ultra short throw laser projector.
- Control4 (Control), kindly donated by Snap One: Core 1 Controller, an SR260 Remote with charging station and an Araknis eight port 210 ethernet switch.
On top of the list above other products and accessories were generously donated by thinkingbricks.


PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:

- Ian Morrish (Founder, Together For Cinema)
- Ian Trudgeon (Director, thinkingbricks)
- Aaron Clarke (Director, thinkingbricks)
- All the manufacturers that supplied the necessary product to complete this upgrade, all of whom have already been mentioned in the Kit List above…
THANK YOU…, you have all helped bring back the cinema magic at EACH in Milton.


FINANCIALS:

All products and associated services to upgrade this room were sourced, supplied and installed free of any charge. The approximate total cost of this upgrade, including consultation, installation, products and any other associated costs would normally have been in the region of £9,000 for an end user price.


SUMMARY:

This was Together For Cinema’s 43rd cinema room installation into a children’s hospice or respite care centre, and took our good cause delivery to nearly £1.1m, had our installations all being paid for. This is of course an impressive figure and as an industry united we have generously made a difference in our community.
The most important difference that we’ve made has been to those families that have used the cinema room and helped create some happy memories absorbed in a movie, a musical, a sporting event or maybe even playing Fort Nite! Hopefully lots of happy memories…
The fact that this was a refurbishment shows our ongoing commitment to each and every installation to make sure the gift that we’ve given continues to deliver.
Finally, a further thank you to Ian and Aaron from thinkingbricks for stepping in and upgrading an installation that they hadn’t previously been involved in. The end result, this being the continued enjoyment of the children and their families, is undoubtedly the most important thing.


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  ♦  Email: ian@ad-con.uk

 

www.togetherforcinema.co.uk
 

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