LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
Julia’s House Children’s Hospice is located in Corfe Mullen, just north of Poole in Dorset. It is one of two hospice sites under the Julia’s House name, the other being in Devizes in Wiltshire.
They are an award-winning children's hospice charity dedicated to bringing comfort and care to families across both Dorset and Wiltshire. Each family they support is unique and so is the care provided. When a family finds out that their child has a very serious medical condition, which is life limiting or life threatening their world falls apart. Julia's house exists to help these children and their families.
Julia’s House is named after Julia Perks, a dedicated paediatric nurse, whose dream it was to develop a support network for families struggling to care for a life-limited child without any help or respite. Although Julia’s House is named after Julia Perks, it was her friend Mike Wise who founded the charity in 2003. Julia sadly died of cancer before her dream became a reality but Mike, along with a small group of supporters, took up the baton.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
Together For Cinema first had contact with Julia’s House back in 2011, though this initial contact didn’t come to anything. It wasn’t until 2015, when I spoke to Andrew Munn, their Facilities Manager, that we had a more productive conversation with some real possibilities. This led to us installing a cinema room facility at their new Devizes children’s hospice location. This was opened in May 2017 and Together For Cinema was delighted to have been able to help.
With the continued development and growth of Together For Cinema, we contacted Andrew in 2021 to see if we could help with a cinema room solution at their Corfe Mullen facility. Having already seen what we had installed at their Devizes site Andrew was of course keen for us to help at Corfe Mullen. However, and as ever, care provision is the priority and it wasn’t clear if there was a suitable room available. With this in mind we needed to arrange a visit, and this was planned for September 2021.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
I visited Julia’s House on September 15th, but due to Covid issues our visit was quick and limited to only one guest allowed in the building at a time. This proved a little challenging but once we all gathered outside to discuss the options it became clear as to what we could do. Our options were limited to two different areas, with one easily dismissed due to possible changes in the future care structure and location of counselling rooms etc…
The room that we had to work with was basically a bedroom facility that had rather lost it’s defined purpose, though might still be used as bedroom in the future. There were hoists in the room, an emergency exit door and some fitted furniture. Sounds tricky and initially it was hard to determine exactly what we could do. This was until we had Luke Crutcher of Living Home Technology take a look…
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
Initially we were talking to a local installer who sadly had to walk away from the project as he had a full time job opportunity in a slightly different area of AV and hence was unable to continue his involvement.
This happened around the time of the EI Live! show in Farnborough, where Luke and Wayne Crutcher from Living Home Technology visited me on my stand. They were even more local to Julia’s House and both were keen to get involved and to help as best they can. With fate having played it’s part, one thing led to another and very soon they were both committed to making as good a cinema room as they could.
With Luke already having spoken to me about another possible installation in Dorset (for the Dorset Children’s Foundation) we arranged a day to visit both Julia’s House and the potential installation location for the Dorset Children’s Foundation. This was early in April 2022 and the result of these meetings was that Together For Cinema, working with Living Home Technology were committed to helping both venues as best we could.
Luke took a good look at the room we had to work with and changed the initial installation plans and had a vision that would create a room giving the children that immersive feel. The room was not big enough to accommodate many people (probably 8-10 maximum) so it was important to focus on creating the right cinema experience for the room. Luke had a vision and he worked hard to deliver a wonderful end result that the children are thoroughly enjoying!
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS:
With any Together For Cinema cinema room installation there are certain ‘basics’ that are needed such as a screen, projector, AVR, speakers, control, cables, lighting etc… With this in mind the actual equipment required for a smallish room is very similar to what is required for a large room. With this in mind the preferred kit list drawn up was comprehensive and as ‘substantial’ as ever! Off I went to our wonderfully generous and supportive industry to try to gather what was required…
Requests for product were sent out and I’m delighted to say that some old favourites stepped up again to help. With this in mind thanks must go to Control4 (Snap One), Chord Company, Denon (Sound United), Epson, HDANYWHERE, Luxul (via Invision), Orluna, Projecta (via Legrand), Sanus (via Connected Distribution) Sonance, and Starscape. Great brands with great products and a real desire to help progress our work.
Thank you from Julia’s House, from Together For Cinema and from all those that will enjoy the room but will have no idea who you are…
Thursday 23rd June, 2022.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Wednesday 27th July, 2022.
With any high intensity care location there can be unexpected delays to any onsite project, and this was the case at Julia’s House. A one week installation became a four week installation, and I thank Luke and Wayne Crutcher, and the whole Living Home Technology team, for their support and patience to complete a wonderful end result.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
”A trip to the cinema, for most families, is as magical as it is simple and achievable. But this wasn’t the case for the families being supported by Julia’s House Children’s Hospice. As brothers and fathers ourselves, we felt compelled to get involved with Together For Cinema.
Our opportunity came when the original installer had to step down. It was then that we saw the space for the first time, and with its various challenges decided that a redesign was needed to deliver the best possible experience for the families who would be using it.
Together For Cinema’s amazing supporters donated all the kit for the room, including Sonance’s reference speaker package, an Epson EHTW5910 projector, and a Da-Lite Cinema Contour 100-inch screen. An extra layer of magic was added to the room using six square metres of Starscape infinity lighting ceiling panels.
We believe everyone should get to experience the immersive magic of cinema, which is why we’re proud to be working with Ian and helping make the magic happen that is what Together for Cinema do.
Hearing happy stories of children’s joy makes the world go round – and this install is no exception! We love what we do and are thankful for the opportunity to be involved in making a difference. ”
Luke and Wayne Crutcher, Directors, Living Home Technology.
“Having the opportunity to work with Ian and his wonderful crew of installers at Together for Cinema again was a real boost for us and the children at our hospice.
Together for Cinema very kindly carried out the installation of cinema equipment at our Devizes hospice just prior to opening in 2018 and it was a real success with our children and they now have regular cinema sessions when they stay with us.
This year Together for Cinema have installed another system for us at our hospice in Dorset and again the team that worked with us on this one were absolute professionals, very knowledgeable and basically wanted to deliver the very best they could so that the children could have a wonderful cinema experience within our own building.
After some initial meetings where we put forward what we needed and how the room would be a multifunctional room and not a dedicated cinema room, a design was created and Ian, Wayne and Luke set about collecting the equipment that would be needed for the room to be completed.
Just as the work begun, there was an unexpected change to our requirement meaning that some of the equipment that had been planned could no longer be used and would need to be changed, although this did create an issue for Ian and his team, they sourced alternative equipment with no fuss at all. After a short delay the room was completed and within a few days the children were happily munching popcorn and watching Disney films to their hearts content!
We send a very big thank you to Ian Morrish, Wayne and Luke Crutcher for giving Julia’s House the chance to give the children and families that we care for a wonderful experience and also the opportunity to create memories that they will remember forever.”
…and a personal note to Ian Morrish…
I would personally like to thank you, Wayne, Luke and the rest of the team for giving us the chance to add another dimension to the care and love that we can give our children. I know that I have said it before, but one of the most important things in the situation that our families find themselves in, is creating the chance to make memories that everyone can hold on to forever and the cinema experience is something that we can now offer to the children that would otherwise never be able to do this.”
Andrew Munn, Facilities Manager, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.
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PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU…, you have helped make a real difference at Rainbows, and in turn, have made a real difference to so many people’s lives.
As with most charitable good causes, and certainly at all the children’s hospices I have worked at, there is no budget to install a luxury such as a Cinema Room. Therefore, and with all products donated and the installation services provided free of any charge, this gift from the AV industry really has a huge impact.
Had this been a normal paid for installation the total cost, including consultation, design, installation, products and any other associated costs would normally have been in the region of £32,000 for an end user price.
This was Together For Cinema’s 32nd good cause cinema room installation and took us to about £730,000 worth of good cause installations, had they all been paid for. We are getting ever closer to our ambitious target of installing a total of £1million worth of cinema room installations by the end of 2023 and 50 cinema rooms by the end of 2024. With the collaborative support of our industry we are confident that we will achieve this, and of course a whole lot more in the coming years…
The children and staff at Julia’s House are delighted with their new cinema room and I would like to thank Luke and Wayne Crutcher and all the team at Living Home Technology for making this happen.
On behalf of Together For Cinema and Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, as well as the hundreds of children and young adults you will never meet, we thank you…
“Together For Cinema – together for better”