LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
Linden Cottage is located in Uckfield, East Sussex and is part of the Fitzroy care group. It is a not-for-profit residential care home with accommodation for 6 people at any one time. Their care categories cover Learning Disability, Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment.
There is an amazing team working at Linden Cottage and having got to know them, and the residents, I am delighted that we have been able to bring the cinema and AV experience into their home.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
For many years now AWE Europe in Epsom have been great supporters of Together For Cinema and I have got to know Jackie Penfold, their General Manager, quite well. It was in June 2021 that Jackie first contacted Together For Cinema about Linden Cottage.
Very simply, in her local paper she had read about a fundraising event to enable Linden Cottage to transform their wooden chalet garden building into a TV and entertainment room. Amazingly, one of the residents, Audrey, a 60 year old disabled lady, had walked 10 miles in Uckfield, and had raised £2,000 to help transform the room. As we all know this could have done the trick to purchase a TV and a 5.1 speaker system, but wouldn’t it be great if we could help them go the extra mile?
Jackie asked me if this would be something that we would be interested in helping with, and, even though not our normal children’s hospice installation, we were happy to visit and see what we could do.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
On August 11th Jackie and I visited Linden Cottage and met with some of the staff, as well as some of the residents. Tea, cake and sandwiches were laid on and we were looked after so well.
We met some wonderful people and were shown the room that they had in mind to transform. Well, ‘transformation’ was indeed the word! The vision however and the enthusiasm to make it happen was unquestionable. The ideas that were discussed were very realistic but just needed some hard work and support to get there.
The team at Linden Cottage, aided by Audrey, one of the residents, explained how they would clear, clean, paint and prepare the building for the new facility and, on understanding their plans, Jackie and I outlined what we felt we could do regarding the AV. All of a sudden it became a very realistic plan.
The money raised by Audrey was going to be used to refurbish the room and then, once this was done, we would help find the right people and product support to install the cinema and entertainment room facility.
We set a target to make sure that the room was completed in time for Christmas, and Linden Cottage felt this was feasible. We had a plan and we now just needed to make it happen!
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
With Jackie from AWE having introduced Together For Cinema to Linden Cottage, she was keen for her colleagues at AWE to help with the installation, and she also had a family member who was happy to help. So, we had a team, Peter Penfold, Jackie’s brother, was taken on to project manage and Tilak Rana from AWE was our specialist AV installer. With the team in place we could now focus on sourcing the products.
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS:
With AWE Europe (one of the UK’s largest Custom Install and Smart Home Technology trade suppliers) so closely involved with the installation, it was pretty clear where we might be able to secure the product for the install. Looking down AWE’s listing of pedigree brands we immediately identified Sony, Bowers & Wilkins and Denon as brands that we could approach for the items that we were hoping to install.
With Denon, via Sound United, already having donated some AVR’s to the cause we were able to allocate one of these to the Linden Cottage install. AWE were able to secure the speakers and sub that we needed from Bowers & Wilkins, and for the Sony screen it was a quick call and we were there! All these companies have been and are great supporters of Together For Cinema and we thank them for their continued support to help make these rooms happen.
Thank you also to Pulse Cinemas and Opus Technologies for donating so many DVD’s and Blu-Ray discs as these will become part of the cinema room as a feature, and will of course be enjoyed by so many over the coming years.
Tuesday 14th December, 2021.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Friday 17th December, 2021.
Due to extended Covid issues and some challenges at Linden Cottage the Opening Event wasn’t able to be held until the morning of Wednesday 15th June. However, it was definitely worth waiting for! The sun shone on us all, there were drinks and nibbles provided and we were treated to a song and dance performance of Abba’s ‘Mamma Mia’ by the lovely Audrey!
There was a crowd of people there, including the Lady Mayoress of Uckfield and representatives from the local Lions Club, and they were all keen to share in the joy of what has been a great team effort to make this new entertainment room happen.
With Stuart Tickle’s assistance we were able to secure products from Sony, Bowers & Wilkins and Denon. The Lions Club raised some money to help decorate the room and Audrey walked a sponsored 10km, joined in part by the Lady Mayoress, and this all combined to help make this magical room happen. Aided on the installation side by Peter Penfold, brother of Jackie who works at AWE, the end result really has made such a change to people’s lives.
We had a demo of how great the new system sounds and looks (genuinely fantastic!), and then Audrey took her position… Talk about X Factor!!!
I said to Stuart Tickle whilst Audrey was performing…, ‘isn’t it great to see the difference we’re making’, and he beamed a broad smile…, ‘just think of the thousands of times we’ll never see’…, and he beamed an even broader smile. It really is great to see the difference we make as an industry united and long may this last.
“Getting the opportunity to work on the Linden Cottage installation was a great feeling for both Peter and I. We were both exited to turn the old chalet into a media room we would be proud to call our own. As we got to start off with a blank canvas, creating a warm and cozy cinema was always going to be a fun and exciting project.
Peter assisted Sharon at Linden Cottage in getting the unit up to scratch by selecting a colour scheme and painting the chalet inside and out. Peter also produced the brilliant feature wall idea and put it together. The cabling was installed discreetly so nothing is visible in the room while watching movies. A simple 5.1 system was installed using Bowers and Wilkins M1 speakers which was powered by a Denon AVR. Sony kindly provided a 65” pro display which really brought the project to life.
After completing the installation, we quickly realized that networking was in issue due to the distance from the main property to the chalet (70m run).
It was decided the best practice would be to run a new cable from the Network hub to the cinema as all installers know that cable is king. Peter and I were then tasked to run the cable with minimal damage and minimal visibility.
e would like to thank Together for Cinema for the chance to work on this project and Jackie Penfold for recommending us for the job. The smiles on the faces we saw after completing this project is something we will carry forever.”
Tilak Rana, Technical Sales Manager, AWE Europe.
”We don't have words to thank Ian and his team for letting us be part of his wonderful work at Together For Cinema. We at Linden Cottage will always be thankful.
We have to send a huge thanks to Jackie from AWE who read about us back in the summer of 2021 and heard about the huge task we had in front of us trying to turn this wooden garden chalet into a cinema room. One of our inspirational residents took part in a ten mile sponsored walk to raise money to convert the room.
Jackie from AWE contacted Ian and told him our story and we met in the summer. Between AWE and Together For Cinemas they have made this a wonderful experience.
We feel so privileged that Ian and Jackie have helped transform an old wooden chalet into an amazing Cinema entertainment room for our disabled residents. For many of our residents this is life changing as, due to their disabilities, they are unable to get to the local cinema.
This is now a truly beautiful safe space that can be enjoyed by residents with their loved ones also a much-needed room for staff to retreat to when they need time out to de-stress from a busy day. Everyone has made the experience truly wonderful and their love and heart for the guys at Linden Cottage is so overwhelming and we feel we have met wonderful friends for life.
We don't have words to thank everyone. Their vision transforming this cluttered garden chalet into an amazing Cinema room is something that we are so grateful for. You have changed a lot of lives in so many ways. A huge heart felt thank you from all of us at Linden Cottage.”
Dean Bowen-Ray, Registered Service Manager, Linden Cottage / Fitzroy
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
On top of the list above many other products and accessories were generously donated by the installation team at AWE Europe.
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU…, you have helped make a real difference at Linden Cottage, and in turn, have made a real difference to so many people’s lives.
As with many residential care centres Linden Cottage doesn’t have the budget to purchase and install a luxury cinema room facility. 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. With us being able to supply the AV kit and get it installed it allowed the team at Linden Cottage to use the money that Audrey’s raised for other items such as paint, some AV furniture etc…, that helps make the room even more of a special experience for them all.
Had this been a normal paid for installation the total cost, including consultation, design, installation, products and any other associated costs would have been in the region of £10,000.
Though not our standard children’s hospice installation the work at Linden Cottage was carried out in the same way as any other of our installations. However, being a smaller venue it enabled us all to get to know everyone at Linden Cottage. It made the process all the more personal and hence all the more important to make sure the room was as right as it could be for what they needed.
The end result is a room that will be enjoyed by the residents and the staff for many years to come. I’ve already witnessed this and it really is very special. A phrase I use a lot these days is ‘it makes your heart sing’, and this is so true of the difference we’ve made at Linden Cottage.
As an ‘add on’ I was delighted to be able to buy a Karaoke machine for the residents to use. Having arrived early in the New Year, it was quickly unpacked and plugged in. With microphone in hand Audrey enthusiastically sang and danced to Abba’s ‘Does Your Mother Know’! I’ve seen the videos and they are fab! You never know where you’re going to find the next singing sensation, and who knows, it may be hidden away at Linden Cottage!
So, for Together For Cinema, 29 down, and 21 to go for us to hit our new target of 50 cinema rooms by 2026. This now takes us to a total normal cost of these good cause installations of very nearly £650,000, and ever closer to the ambitious million pound mark – we will get there…
Thank you again to the team that made this room happen, it never ceases to amaze and delight me how many people in our industry are ready, willing and able to help our and commit to helping make these rooms happen.
“Together For Cinema – together for better”
For further details please contact Ian Morrish at:-
Work: 01372 454366 ♦ Mobile: 07768 398007 ♦ Email: email@example.com
Report Created by Ian Morrish. All quotes to be from Ian Morrish, unless otherwise stated.