Rachel House is located in Kinross, Scotland and is one of the two Children's Hospices in Scotland run by Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) that is a member of Together For Short Lives.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
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 with short lives. Then, following further PR from, Children’s Hospices UK (as they were known as then) to their members in August 2011, I received a phone call from Rachel House. They explained what they were looking to achieve, and how far the line they already were..., and I then explained how I felt we might be able to help. They had already been quoted for their install and having discussed this with them I felt that we might be able to help them save some serious amounts of money. For this however I needed an installer that I could trust to go and visit them...
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
About 12-14 years ago I worked with Allan Boyd from Loud and Clear helping him publish the Show Guide for the Scottish Hi-Fi show that he organised. A good contact, a good installer and a good person it seemed natural for me to contact Allan to help on this particular project. I contacted him and his response was immediate and very positive.
As soon as Allan could visit Rachel House he did, and following a comprehensive meeting in mid September he agreed to take on the install. It was understood that due to various deadlines it would not be possible for us to generate all the equipment and services free of any charge but we agreed to do what we could. A very comprehensive Kit List was subsequently submitted on the 20th September and Allan and I set about trying to pull things together.
End of October 2011.
“The original brief was for a multi functional room for young adults visiting the centre for respite care. The idea was to create the ultimate high tech recreation room. Further information on how the room might be used was sought from the care team itself and a visit was arranged by some of the young adults from Rachel House to Loud & Clear's Glasgow showroom for some hands on product evaluation. On the back of this, we designed and installed a full high performance home cinema system comprising a HD, 3D JVC projector along with a high gain projector screen suited for use in high ambient light, a full 7.1 surround sound system to access Sky, Blurays and DVDs. In addition a multi zone music system was installed to provide a range of streamed music both outside and in from a music library stored on an external NAS computer drive Environmental control came from a Rako electric blind interface and Lutron lighting controller with overall control via Control 4 running on an Ipad. With the touch of a few simple buttons, the lights dim, the blinds close, the music starts and the movie credits roll...”
Allan Boyd, Loud and Clear.
SOURCING OF PRODUCT:
With the installation deadlines as they were we had very little time to generate the products required. However, we were able to approach those companies that we felt were most likely to support a project of this nature, and the support was, bearing in mind the time scales, excellent.
Sadly not all products were able to be donated or subsidised, and please note the Kit List below only includes those companies that were able to supply donated or subsidised products. The balance of products had to be purchased directly at standard prices.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Main install completed end November.
Interim commissioning end December.
Final commissioning arranged end January.
”We’re so grateful to Ian, Allan and their teams for their help with this project. They’ve provided a professional, coordinated service for the build and installation and we’re delighted with the result. The savings of around £20,000 will help support children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families across Scotland. The home cinema system is a fantastic addition to our newly opened young adult space. The space is a specially-designed area for young adults to spend time independently from members of the care team or their families where they can simply hang out in with friends in a private area to get away from it all with the latest high-tech equipment and computer games. The space has proved so popular that before 3pm every day we’ve opened it up to all family members and we’ll often find a Dad relaxing in the luxury massage chair watching a film. The home cinema has got a wide-ranging appeal for all ages and is a much-loved item in the house.”
Alison Blair, Rachel House Activities Coordinator.
The really interesting and challenging part of this project was in the area of control – ideally the system needed to be able to be operated by a changing stream of visitors to the facility with a wide range of physical abilities. The ideal scenario was to be able to control the cinema system, the streaming music system outside and inside, the blinds and the lights from a range of control devices including a laptop, iTouch, Ipad and dedicated remote. The answer came from Control 4 – a flexible, cost effective home control system, which could be easily understood by a wide range of users.
All in all the project has been very rewarding - a unique set of requirements from a client whom you could only do the best for.
Allan Boyd, Loud and Clear.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED OR SUBSIDISED:
The following products were all kindly donated:
The following products were all kindly supplied at a subsidised cost:
The initial quote that was submitted was from an independent installer and was in the region of £28,000. Allan from Loud and Clear visited Rachel House and felt his normal commercial rate for a similar install would be in the region of £20,000, though he agreed to waive his install fees and guaranteed to complete the work for less than £17,000. With equipment donations and subsidies to the tune of £7,440 the final figure that was invoiced by Loud and Clear was amended to £10,000 – saving Rachel House an approximate total of £18,000, from their initial quotation. This money will be used in other ways to look after the children, young adults and their families that visit or stay at Rachel House.
Loud and Clear have also committed to be available for any servicing and technical queries post install, giving yet further saving...
This project was undertaken on the understanding that due to timescales and the job specification that had already been approved and specified, it would be unlikely that we would be able to deliver a totally donated installation. This is not the way we would have wanted to proceed but due to time constraints, and the comprehensive installation that had been specified we agreed to proceed and save as much money as we could... However, to be able to save Rachel House about £18,000 is a huge achievement and thanks goes to Allan Boyd and his team at the Loud and Clear Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, and all the manufacturers and distributors that have helped make this happen. This installation will bring joy and excitement to many children and their families for many years to come, and is something that will genuinely ‘make a difference’...