LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice helps families make every precious moment count. They do this by providing clinical, practical and emotional support to babies, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families living in North and Central London and Hertsmere. Every child receives a bespoke package of Hospice-at-Home support, including specialist care and therapies as well as access to our family activities programme. The work is magnified by trained volunteers who give families support at home, helping them spend more time together. There are approximately 1,200 children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in the catchment area, but currently no children’s hospice building, until now… Of these 1,200, over 310 children are seriously unwell, and there are 344 of their siblings and 517 of their parents / guardians.
Through the ‘Building The Ark’ campaign enough funds have now been raised to construct The Ark – a children’s hospice building for North and Central London and Hertsmere. This is due for completion at the end of 2019 and will be one of the most modern and pioneering Children’s Hospices in the world.
The Ark will be set on a 7.5 acre nature reserve and be a home-from-home for children who are seriously unwell, where they will be given the time and space to be children and not just patients. It will provide an inspiring space for relaxation, adventure and for children and their families to connect with others facing similar challenges.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
It was in April 2017 that the Director of Care at Noah’s Ark first made contact…, not with me, but with Wildwood PR. I quickly followed up the enquiry and was put in contact with the architect and project manager to see what we could do to help. As the build was yet to begin it would appear that we had a clean slate to work but as the design of the building was so complex, and every square foot had a purpose, it was hard to see how we could install a cinema room.
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
Back in 2014 H&H Audio Visual had helped with an installation for Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green, Essex. Greg Howarth, who managed the installation, had always said he’d be happy to help with another project and hence I contacted him in the summer of 2018 to see if he would be interested to help with Noah’s Ark. His response was immediate and he was on board! His new business partner, Mark Davis, was also hugely supportive and Glo AV (their new company) were now our official installer.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
After much communication it was in November 2018 that we finally met on site, in fact on the building site! With completion not expected for another 12 months you can imagine the scene… With hard hats and hi-vis at the ready we set off to view the proposed location for the installation. The room we had to work with was great but we had to compromise our vision a little due to the location important medical equipment. As mentioned before, every square foot was needing to be useful and productive. However, we worked with what we had to work with and the end result is a high quality compact cinema room experience.
Seeing the Ark being built was amazing. Sensing the pride and commitment of all involved was inspiring…
SOURCING OF PRODUCT:
The preferred kit list was drawn up soon after our meeting and as ever it was a comprehensive list of high-quality AV equipment. Industry communication began in January 2019 and very soon we had assurances of support for all items required. It’s great to work in an industry that is so receptive to support such a worthwhile cause.
Over the past 10 years Together For Cinema has become increasingly recognised as a positive industry movement and hence product support is easier to secure. Several companies have become ‘Go To’ for certain products and this always gives us a good start and a boost when starting a new appeal. Thank you again to all who donated…
Monday 18th February, 2019.
This was the date of the technical handover to the site contractor. With building work schedules as they were, Glo A/V were having to be almost ‘on call’ as and when the Project Manager needed them to come in. It was towards the end of April that they were able to start the actual installation.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Tuesday 8th October, 2019 (the morning of the Opening Reception)
On Tuesday 8th October there was an Opening Reception at The Ark with over 60 people in attendance. These were the key companies and individuals that had helped create and fund The Ark. It was great to feel the anticipation of The Ark getting ready to set sail and to further appreciate how much has gone into making it happen.
Prior to this event we had a smaller gathering to celebrate the opening of the cinema room, and to see it in all its Audio and Visual glory… We were delighted to have the Glo A/V installation team in attendance as well as industry friends from both Monitor Audio and Orluna.
As with all the Together For Cinema installations it looked and sounded great, and Glo A/V really delivered in what was a challenging space to create the cinema experience. Paul Mepham, The Ark’s Project Manager, kindly attended and said a few words of thanks to all those present. He was then keen to watch a few clips from Gladiator! This must be his favourite film as it was a ‘must buy’ from the iTunes credit voucher kindly donated by Greg Howarth’s wife!
After the opening Paul kindly gave the group a short tour of The Ark and it really is a fabulous new facility that will change the lives of so many children and their families in the area.
“When we were asked by Ian at Together For Cinema to help with the Noah’s Ark Project, myself and my business partner agreed without hesitation.
Knowing that this project will improve the quality of the children’s lives, and will also allow their family members to spend real quality time with them was the reason we wanted to help.
Delivering the cinema room has had its challenges but we feel we have overcome all obstacles and all teams have worked extremely well together to make this project a reality. We have had so much support from the AV industry with generous donations of equipment and willing support.
Our engineers have also been magnificent from start to finish with professionalism and devotion to completing the project.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Noah’s Ark, and to rally the AV community… To do something I love whilst helping others is a dream come true.”
Mark Davis, Director, Glo A/V
”We would like to express our enormous gratitude to Together For Cinema who very generously donated and installed fantastic equipment for The Ark’s cinema room. Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice provides clinical, practical and emotional support to babies, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families living in North and Central London and Hertsmere. Thanks to the expertise of Together For Cinema, our bespoke purpose-built cinema room will serve as a social hub and provide enjoyment for our children. It will also be a brilliant room for siblings to hang out whilst their brothers and sisters are in our care. The continued backing of our community is more vital than ever as we bring The Ark to life for the children and families. It’s wonderful to have the support of Together For Cinema and the whole AV industry; having that space for children to be children, not just patients, will make such an enormous difference to their lives.”
Ru Watkins, Chief Exectivre, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
On top of the list above many other products and accessories were generously donated by Glo A/V.
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU…, you have all helped in adding some sparkle to The Ark!
All products and associated 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 £30,000 for an end user price.
For Together For Cinema, this installation was our 23rd completed cinema room in a children’s hospice or respite home. Number 24, in Milton in Cambridgeshire, is due for completion by the end of October 2019 and our final installation, before CEDIA take over, will follow soon and will be in Chertsey in Surrey. Our target of 25 cinema rooms to be completed by 2020 will hopefully be achieved by the end of 2019!
The cinema room at The Ark is a great addition to an amazing new facility in North London. It will make a huge difference to so many families for many years to come. If, by our support, these families can lose themselves in a movie once in a while then our efforts have been truly worthwhile.
A big thank you to the Glo A/V team for making this happen and working so well with various contractors at The Ark. Varying schedules, build delays and weather issues made planning the work very difficult but all was delivered on time as and when required. You can tell from Mark Davis’s heartfelt ‘Installer Comments’ above just how much this project meant to him and his colleagues. Thank you again…
Report Created by Ian Morrish. All quotes to be from Ian Morrish, unless otherwise stated.
For further details please contact Ian at:-
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