Haven House Children's Hospice
The White House
020 8505 9944
Haven House Children’s Hospice is located in Woodford Green, North East London, almost at the base of the M11. It is part of Together For Short Lives, 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:
I was first contacted by Haven House in April 2013 after they had read about one of the other Together For Cinema children’s hospice installations in the Together For Short Lives newsletter. Their immediate question to me ‘how do we qualify for such a donation’, and I simply said that ‘we’ll do it…, and when’s a good time for you’. After a brief chat it became clear that the cinema installation should be part of their new Holistic Care Centre that was still at planning stage, but with secured funding, so it was definitely going to happen, it was just a case of when…
Later in the year we spoke again and things had moved forward and work had begun on the new centre so we decided that a visit in March 2014 with a view to completion in time for Christmas would be the best schedule to work to. The most important part of the process now had to be found…, the installer…
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
With several excellent installers within striking distance of Woodford Green I asked CEDIA for a suggestion of someone local who they felt would like to take the job on and help with the install at Haven House Children’s Hospice. They suggested a company called H&H Audio Visual in North London who had recently become CEDIA members, and had impressed by their willingness to learn and develop as a CEDIA installer.
I called H&H directly and spoke to both Sean Hardiman and Greg Howarth and there was no hesitation from either of them in offering their services to install the cinema room.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
With the new Holistic Care Centre taking shape at Haven House it was timely for us to visit the site and take a look at the potential cinema room, and this we did so on Tuesday 18th March. Greg Howarth and I met with Jan Cunningham, Development Officer at Haven House, and we discussed what the room was to be used for, and how… It quickly became apparent that the cinema room was going to be a key feature in the future, not only for watching films, but also for training, fundraising, presentations, gaming etc..., in fact a real multi-function room, in every sense! This extended usage led to a more comprehensive product list and also the necessity to have near black-out automated blinds.
Between Greg and myself we drew up a ‘preferred’ product list and on reading afterwards we realised that what we were hoping to install was quite ambitious. As ever I felt this was achievable, though Greg had his initial doubts as asking for about £16,000 of equipment free of charge was not something he’d done before! However, and with the goodwill the industry has shown in the past, I was sure we could pull it all together, and quickly…
SOURCING OF PRODUCT:
With Greg and I working through the preferred kit list we quickly realised that the challenge to secure the required equipment was not as big a challenge as we thought…
We would use one of the 20 projectors that Epson had already generously donated and this was sitting in storage at AWE in Epsom. One call and this was on it’s way to H&H!
Through various relationships we already had the promise of (almost!) anything we needed from Dataflow IT, Humax, Kaleidescape, Middle Atlantic (via RGB), Monitor Audio, RTI (via Invision), Velodyne (via Redline), Wyrestorm and Yamaha. With this amount of support just waiting on our request a few more calls and emails and we were looking in pretty good shape.
Our biggest challenge was to be the blinds as this is something that we don’t generally supply and it’s only recently that brands are stepping forward as ‘players’ in the AV industry. However, RGB Communications distribute Ocean Air and very kindly gave me an ’in’ and, to cut a long story short, and after many conversations and emails with Ocean Air, Somfy and Rako we finally secured the product that we needed.
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.
It never ceases to amaze me how generous people and companies can be… I receive continuous offers of support and these offers are most welcome…, and needed.
Wednesday 9th July, 2014
INSTALLER INSTALL COMMENTS:
“We found the installation incredibly rewarding. From a technical perspective it was an entirely new challenge designing and installing a system with equipment that has been donated rather than specified and purchased. Fortunately, the quantity and quality of equipment donated was truly remarkable and the team building the new annex for Haven House were flexible so we could add first fix cabling once Together for Cinema had actually secured the equipment donation. This really allowed us to give a full range of integration from the AV to the lighting and shades.”
Greg Howarth, H&H Audio Visual
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Initial installation of home cinema completed on 30th August, 2014, with the blinds being installed a few weeks later.
HAVEN HOUSE AND OTHER POST INSTALL COMMENTS:
“Everyone at Haven House is delighted to have been chosen as a 2014 recipient of a home cinema installation from the Together for Cinema project. It was a very timely addition to our newly completed Holistic Care Centre. The audio visual industry has generously donated all of the equipment, and H&H Audio Visual of North London kindly installed the cinema for us. Our first screening was on 29th October, and our children and families were all very excited. Many of our children are not able to attend mainstream cinema screenings so this new service will be a wonderful addition to our range of hospice and community based services, providing enjoyment and entertainment for years to come.
Mike Palfreman, Chief Executive, Haven House Children’s Hospice
‘I'll get a proper email put together but I just wanted to say I was honored to be a part of yesterday and from a personal point of view it was probably the most humbling experience I've ever had. With utmost respect’.
Adrian Summers, Product Sales Manager, Invision (who donated the RTI control equipment)
‘Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Jan and all of you for everything you do for us and for the new cinema! I can tell you how nice it was to sit with both my children and watch a movie. We have cinema days at home but it's not like that at all, so I just wanted to let you know it was very much appreciated xx’
Maxine, Mum of Aisha
INSTALLER POST INSTALL COMMENTS:
“We are really pleased with the final installation in terms of the level of integration we were able to achieve with the quality product donated. The staff and kids were so grateful for the room we created and it made everything worthwhile. We highly recommend this scheme to other integrators out there.”
Greg Howarth, H&H Audio Visual
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
Other accessories, as required, were donated directly by H&H Audio Visual
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU to you all!! …between us we’ve created a fantastic multi-function media room at Haven 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 £20,000 for an end user price.
H&H Audio Visual have also committed to be available for any servicing and technical queries post install.
Installer key – H&H were fantastic
For Together For Cinema this installation is our 13th completed cinema room in a children’s hospice. With two more starting early in 2015 we are well on target to have our 25 completed by 2020.
The cinema/media room at Haven House 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 Greg Howarth and Sean Hardiman of H&H Audio Visual who has given up a huge amount of time to complete the cinema. These efforts, and over and above everyone’s normal work committments, and the generosity of all concerned, will make a difference to all those that use the room for many years to come. Very simply this is another installation for our industry to be proud of.