Little Havens

Location: Benfleet, Essex

Little Havens Hospice

Daws Heath Road




01702 220350



Little Havens Children’s Hospice is located in Thundersley, near Rayleigh, and cares for life-limited children and their families throughout Essex. It is part of Havens Hospices which also runs Fair Havens Hospice and is a member of national charity, Together for Short Lives.



At the beginning of 2011 we had already generated some PR nationally about the work the AV industry is doing in trying to bring the joy of Home Cinema to children and young people with short lives. Then, following the initial PR from Children’s Hospices UK (as Together For Short Lives were known as then) to their members in June 2011, I received a phone call from Ron Pullen, a member of the care team at Little Havens. We had a long chat and once he was clear and understanding of what we felt we could offer he started to have some ideas about furthering the Home Cinema thoughts in the hospice. It was clear that the next stage was for me to visit Little Havens and this I did at the end of August. Having visited, we quickly determined that there was one particular room that would be suitable to install the Home Cinema into, but the room structure had its own challenges...



In the past I had worked with Rayleigh Hi-Fi in Essex for many years, helping to co-ordinate their Installation brochure. They have four shops in Essex and are well known and highly respected by the industry and customers alike. They seemed to be a perfect partner for me to team with on this installation. With this in mind I called Larry Brow on the 16th September and he had no hesitation in committing Paul Broughton and his install team to help with the installation.



Very soon after agreeing to manage the installation I put Ron from Little Havens in touch with Larry and Paul from Rayleigh Hi-Fi and the agreed to meet at the hospice on October 18th. Following this meeting Paul and I talked about the install and having already had some product donated (and in storage with AWE in Epsom) we agreed a preferred product list (see later in report). The already donated product included 5 B&W FPM4 flat panel wall speakers and a Rotel RSX-1550 AV Receiver, both donated by B&W a few weeks earlier.

The balance of products required included a 52” LED screen (the room not being suitable for a projector and screen), a Blu-Ray Player, rack, sub etc..., and these I set about trying to raise from the industry.



On my initial appeal for product I had an immediate response for support, and there was even an offer from James Johnson-Flint at Opus to underwrite the whole installation, as well as future ones... My thanks must go to him for his fantastic offer of support. It would have been very easy to take James up on his offer but I wanted to try to get as many people involved as possible and with many offers of support this was made easy for me... However, it was great to know that whatever the response the install at Little Havens Children’s Hospice would definitely go ahead.

My thanks must go to all manufacturers and distributors for their support and particularly (and I know I shouldn’t single anyone out..., but I will!) to Stuart Tickle at AWE. Not only is he storing various products for me, he also donated some product and worked with his contact at Samsung to secure the donation of the 52” LED screen, a key feature of the install.



Tuesday 17th January, 2012.



Prior to the installation of the system, I arranged to visit Little Havens to view the room so I could see what type of system would be suitable, and to see where speakers can be positioned so they are not intrusive, but sound quality would not be compromised. Initially we thought a Cinema Projector and a large Cinema Projection Screen would be great for viewing but upon surveying the room, a projector was unsuitable as there was too much light coming into the room so we decided to recommend a large high quality flat screen to mount onto the wall with the front left, right and centre speakers positioned on the wall around the screen as well. The equipment was going to be housed in a cabinet under the screen with the subwoofer sitting next to the cabinet. The rear speakers posed more of a challenge, as at the back of the room it is mostly windows and doors and there are no walls to mount the rear speakers to. We didn’t want the speakers on floor stands as these would get in the way so we decided to securely mount the speakers to the ceiling. This solution raised another problem as it was difficult to get the speaker cabling for the rear speakers from the back of the room to the front of the room where the amplifier was. We couldn’t run the cabling above the ceiling as there was no access. We wanted to ensure we do a professional finish with cabling hidden as much as possible so we decided to run the rear cabling in conduit which would be concealed behind the window blinds that run from the back to the front of the room. This way the cables and conduit would not be visible.

After viewing the room I contacted Ian Morrish with a list of equipment and which would be ideal and required cabling. Ian had already managed to secure speakers and an amplifier but I was very surprised as a few weeks later he managed to secure the rest of the equipment I specified. I was genuinely amazed at the generosity of his contacts.

Paul Broughton, Store Manager, Rayleigh Hi-Fi



Tuesday 17th January, 2012.



Upon installation, the running of the cables went even better than expected. I installed the system with my colleague Trevor Hardy who came up with an even better way of running the rear speaker cables so they are completely hidden, very neat!

We took our time to setup and calibrate the system to ensure it was as easy as possible to use. Once calibrated, it looked and sounded fantastic whether you was watching a blockbuster movie or playing a game on the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii which was also connected into the system! One of the children commented when he first saw the system that he couldn’t wait to play Fifa 12 on it!

Paul Broughton, Store Manager, Rayleigh Hi-Fi



The following products were all kindly donated:

  • SAMSUNG: Samsung UE-55D8000 Screen (supplied by AWE Ltd)
  • ROTEL: RSX-1550 AV Receiver (direct from B&W UK Ltd)
  • SAMSUNG: BD-D6500 Blu Ray Player (sourced and supplied by Opus Technologies)
  • B&W: 5 x FPM4 Flat Panel Wall Speakers (direct from B&W UK Ltd)
  • VELODYNE: SPL 1000 Subwoofer (supplied by Redline Distribution)
  • MIDDLE ATLANTIC: Equipment Rack (supplied by RGB Communications)
  • PEERLESS: IR4 Infra Red Repeater Kit (direct from Peerless)
  • KINETIK: 50m of Speaker Cable (direct from AWE Ltd)
  • CONNECTIVITY UK: 5 x HDMI Cables (direct from Connectivity UK Ltd)
  • TDI UK Ltd: Selected Cables (direct from TDI UK Ltd)

Various other items such as a wall bracket and conduit were supplied by Rayleigh Hi-Fi as required.  



“From the initial contact, to the site visit by Ian and another by Larry and Paul of Rayleigh Hi-Fi, to the installation itself – the whole thing has been a really good experience. The end result is a high quality cinema system in our teenage room which will be of great benefit to the children and families cared for by Little Havens. Some of our children are too poorly to visit a local cinema, and for others it requires a huge amount of planning making family trips out difficult. We can now offer a trip to our very own “in-house” cinema to the families when they visit us for a much needed break.
Our thanks go to Ian Morrish, Larry Brown and the equipment Suppliers whose generosity made the project possible. Thank you so much for all the work you put in to make this happen, it is going to improve the quality of experience we can give our families.”

Ron Pullen, Care Team, Little Havens 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 £10,000 for an end user price.

Rayleigh Hi-Fi have also committed to be available for any servicing and technical queries post install.



It’s great to hear the positive feedback from Ron Pullen at Little Havens about how the children and their families have (and will) enjoy their new Cinema Room and I know that many more will do so in the future. It’s immediately become a feature of Little Havens and I know it will be used for many hours every day to help put smiles on faces and help make every day a little for richer for everyone that enjoys it.

Having the right installer to take on the responsibility of making this happen is vital and in Rayleigh Hi-Fi I had a company I knew well and could trust to get the job done, and done well... Having been involved several years ago in co-ordinating their installation brochures I knew the quality of their work, as well as the high calibre of their staff.

Finally, my thanks again to Larry and Paul at Rayleigh Hi-Fi, and all the manufacturers and distributors that supported the project – I can confidently say that your efforts, and combined generosity, will make a difference to all those that use the room for many years to come..., and this is something that we should all be very proud of...

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