LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice located in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire is a pioneering children’s hospice that never stops looking for new and better ways to support local children and their families.
Magic things happen at Forget Me Not and this is one of the reasons that they have chosen a real Princess to be their patron, this being HRH Princess Beatrice.
"We really need to think of a new word for hospice, as this is so much more than that; it is a magical place, it's a family, and I’m delighted to be a part of that family.”
HRH Princess Beatrice, December 2016
Forget Me Not’s vision is to deliver pioneering care through pregnancy, childhood and loss, whenever families need them, whatever their future holds.
This vision is made a reality by offering high quality, bespoke, specialist services for Mums and Dads to be, babies, children, and their families, coping with life-limiting conditions and living with loss being inclusive, accessible and available 24/7 in our hospice, at home, in hospital and in our communities. This ensures that every penny raised and every minute gifted is focused on the needs of the families we support.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which inspect hospices, rates Forget Me Not as ‘outstanding’, putting them in the top 1% of all of the organisations they inspect. They’ll never stop working towards being the best they can be.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
The first contact Together For Cinema had from Forget Me Not was way back in July 2011, this was a result of an article we had published in the Children’s Hospices UK (now Together For Short Lives) newsletter. It reported on one of our other installations and as we were looking for other venues to install into, it prompted their call.
Sadly, nothing came of this initial contact, and it wasn’t until January 2020 that we made contact for a second time. Again, this was as a result of a member of staff at Forget Me Not seeing one of our installations, the fabulous cinema room at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley. Having seen this installation, the bar of expectation was set very high!
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
Towards the end of 2019 Together For Cinema had set up a Steering Committee to help define the journey of how Together For Cinema would progress. We were, and still are, lucky enough to have Melanie Malcolm, Director of Bespoke Home Cinemas, sitting on our steering committee. She also sits on the CEDIA Global Board of Directors and is hugely valuable to the future of Together For Cinema.
Fortunately for Forget Me Not, Melanie’s business is based in Leeds and she had always said Bespoke Home Cinemas were happy to consider taking on a Together For Cinema installation if the opportunity arose. So, when I was contacted in January 2020 by one of Forget Me Not’s team it was an easy match and Melanie happily committed for her team to take the installation on.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
Unfortunately, COVID rather put pay to any chances of getting together at the beginning of 2020. However, by the end of summer there was a little more confidence and Melanie, along with her Husband Gifford Malcom, Managing Director of Bespoke Home Cinemas, were able to visit Forget Me Not and view the proposed room for the installation of the cinema facility. This meeting took place on Friday 11th September, 2020. Sadly, I was unable to attend but I had total confidence in Melanie and Gifford.
The proposed room was being used as a board room and had a commissioned graffiti style mural painted on one wall to mark the original opening of the hospice and it was a request that this artwork was to be kept in place. There were a few design challenges the Bespoke team had to overcome, as there are with most installations of this kind, but the final design drawn up was perfect and satisfied all the requirements needed in this special and specific environment.
After a short discussion between the parties concerned the design was approved and an ambitious kit list was drawn up… This included, star lighting effects, 4K projector, a new (first in production) state of the art halo cinema screen with LED surround, motorised blinds, acoustic fabric walls etc…, a really ambitious ask from the AV industry but one we felt we could achieve.
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS:
Bespoke Home Cinemas were keen to help with the sourcing of some of the products required and very soon the industry had both Bespoke Home Cinemas and Together For Cinema out in the field gathering items. Needless to say it didn’t take too long to secure commitments for most of the products and yet again the generosity of our industry was astounding and credit to all who kindly donated. Please see ‘Kit List’ later for a complete list of those who helped make this room happen.
Monday 14th June, 2021.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Thursday 8th July, 2021.
The install was spread over a 3-week period due to other installation works scheduled by Bespoke but the actual installation took only 6 physical working days! The team really put in the extra hours to turn this room around whilst taking into consideration the day to day operations within the hospice environment.
On Friday 6th August, 2021 the Hospice hosted an official Cinema Room Opening at Forget Me Not. I’m delighted to report that this was wedged in between various scheduled film screenings for the children but we had about an hour and a half to officially open the cinema room.
This was planned to be a 30-40 people event including the installation team, manufacturers who donated product and several people associated with the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice itself. Unfortunately, due to ongoing COVID concerns, the holiday season and challenging travel logistics meant we had a smaller gathering, but nevertheless it was a fabulous opening and a celebration of what can happen when an industry rallies.
We were delighted to welcome industry colleagues from Epson, HDCONNECTIVITY, ONEAV and Cinema Build Systems, as well as others who were involved as part of the hospice itself.
Needless to say the demo we had from Gifford Malcolm was ‘absolutely fabulous’ and really does reflect all the hard work that was put in to make the room as great as it is.
Myself, Melanie Malcolm and Luen Thompson, the CEO of Forget Me Not, all said a few words and Gifford was on hand to make sure not a single photo opportunity was missed – thank you!
A long way for some of us to go but without doubt a day that will live in our memories for many years to come – it’s a genuine privilege to be involved in making these rooms happen.
“We feel privileged to have worked on in this project, we wanted to provide the best room physically possible and with the support from our suppliers we did just that. For some children and families who sadly are unable to experience a commercial cinema environment the room provides that ultimate cinematic atmosphere with a little sprinkle of magic. “
Gifford Malcolm, Managing Director, Bespoke Home Cinemas
“We have always wanted to donate one of our cinema rooms to charity and after recently celebrating our 25th year in business and Forget Me Not Hospice celebrating their 10th Birthday it’s a very special gift from us to them! This room will be one Gifford and I, together with our Bespoke Home Cinemas team, will hold as a special place in our hearts, hearing the pleasure and joy it will bring to the children and families makes all the time and effort worthwhile.”
Melanie Malcolm, Director, Bespoke Home Cinemas.
“This year we’re celebrating 10 years since our hospice was built. Being able to mark this incredible milestone with a fantastic state-of-the-art cinema room is something we could never have imagined.
Many of our families cannot go to public cinemas because of their child’s condition and so miss out on this uniquely wonderful experience. That we can now bring the magic of the movies to them right here at the hospice means the world to all of us. This will give so many families the chance to make very special memories together. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen."
Luen Thompson, CEO, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
On top of the list above many other products and accessories were generously donated by Bespoke Home Cinemas.
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU…, you have helped make a real difference at the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, and to so many people’s lives.
All products and associated services were sourced, supplied and installed free of any charge. The approximate total cost of the install, including consultation, design, installation, products and any other associated costs would normally have been in the region of £40,000 for an end user price.
For Together For Cinema, this installation was our 26th charitable installation, and first under the new committed and industry sponsored operational structure. The end result is quite simply magnificent and a fabulous gift to a children’s hospice that is pioneering in its level of care and attention to the children and their families that so need their help.
The skilled and determined project management of Melanie and Gifford Malcolm at Bespoke Home Cinemas helped make this one of the very best installations that has been installed under the umbrella of Together For Cinema. A big industry thank you to both of you for making this happen and for engaging with the project in such a committed fashion. It was a true reflection of how you operate on a day to day basis.
Together For Cinema is a pure and unquestionable good and I hope this installation inspires lots of people to go and do something good very soon.
“Together For Cinema – together for better”
For further details please contact Ian at:-
Work: 01372 454366 ♦ Mobile: 07768 398007 ♦ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report Created by Ian Morrish. All quotes to be from Ian Morrish, unless otherwise stated.