LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
Rainbows Children’s Hospice is located just south of Loughborough, and only a few minutes off Junction 22 of the M1.
In 1989, Harry and Gail Moore’s five-year-old daughter, Laura, sadly died after a battle with Leukaemia. She had three years of treatment, including a bone marrow transplant from her twin brother, Kit. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow and her parents wanted to create something special in her memory – which is how Rainbows was born. Today, Rainbows supports over 300 children and young people living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
Rainbows support every child and young person to fulfil their potential, and helps families make the most of every precious moment, while capturing memories and keepsakes to treasure. They are there for the whole family, offering comfort and compassion during tough times, providing the highest level of professional care until the end, and support after. Simply put, they are there to brighten short lives, and support families, wherever they are.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
Following Together For Cinema becoming a funded enterprise in 2021, we actively sought new locations to install our gifted cinema rooms into. Working with Together For Short Lives, and other channels to reach good causes, we had a great deal of interest. In August 2021 Rainbows contacted me and were amazed to hear about what we could do and so the journey began…
Images of the proposed room were sent down to us and, even though the room was relatively small, it was perfect for turning into a cinema room to hold anything up to about 8-10 people. With such intense care required there is limited residency at Rainbows so a facility accommodating 8-10 would be perfect.
There were a couple of challenges to consider with the room but nothing insurmountable, but a visit was key to really get a feel for the venue and what we could achieve.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
I visited Rainbows at the end of September and met with Kate Golding, the Head of Organisational Giving, and some of her care colleagues. Every time I meet a team at a children’s hospice I leave feeling energised and enthused to help as best I can. There was no difference when I left Rainbows.
Having viewed the room (and even with my limited technical knowledge!) it was clear to me what we could deliver a pretty ‘standard’ Together For Cinema installation, but with extra lighting to help create a wonderful ambience and visual experience. Thoughts of downlights, LED lights and a twinkly star effect ceiling all combined to a cinema room vision that just needed the expertise of a good installer to bring together.
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
It was fortunate that we already had good contact with an installer local to Loughborough, this being Decorum Technology. Gary Mills and his team are hugely supportive of Together For Cinema and had in fact project managed an installation at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall in 2014.
It was at the end of September that I touched base with Gary and asked if he would be interested to help with this installation and he came back to me almost immediately with a positive response. We immediately set up a Zoom call for the following week and I outlined the installation to Gary and he was comfortable with what we were taking on.
Shortly after our call, at the end of October, Gary visited Rainbows and viewed the room for himself. Having discussed with the Rainbow’s team what could be done, they were all happy to commit the room to a full cinema scape room, as opposed to a multi-functional room doubling, or even trebling, up as anything else. This made the whole project a little more exciting for us and enabled us to consider more immersive products to really add to the cinema experience. An installation date was set for March 2022 and Rainbows simply couldn’t believe how fast we were moving!
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS:
Bearing in mind this room was now to be a dedicated facility an ambitious kit list was created and I confidently went ‘out to market’ to see if I could gather the items 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 AV), Denon (Sound United), Epson, HDANYWHERE, KEF, Orluna, Penn Elcom, Projecta, QMotion, Sony and Starscape. Great brands with great products and a real desire to help progress our work.
Thank you from Rainbows, from Together For Cinema and from all those that will enjoy the room but will have no idea who you are…
Monday 4th April, 2022.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Monday 11th April, 2022.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
"This is the second installation that we have helped Together For Cinema with, the first being at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall which was completed in January 2012. Both installations have been a pleasure to be involved with and we are delighted to help make a difference to so many children and young adults in and around both Walsall and now Loughborough.
Working at Rainbows Children’s Hospice was made all the more pleasurable by the hospitality of the Rainbows team who couldn’t do enough to help us and make sure we had a cup of tea and a biscuit whenever required! Of course the main focus was to create as good a cinema room space as we could with the wonderful equipment that had been sourced from our industry colleagues by Ian Morrish at Together For Cinema.
The equipment that was donated was all high quality and I believe we have been able to create a fabulous cinema room facility that will stand the test of time and be used and appreciated for many years to come.
Together For Cinema is a wonderful enterprise and one that I am sure we will be involved with again. Commercial installs pay the bills but for job satisfaction this is hard to beat…”
Gary Mills, Director, Decorum Technology.
“The new Cinema Room will provide the most incredible experience for our children, young people and their families at Rainbows. It really will be a fantastic addition to our wonderful facilities, and we can’t thank Together for Cinema enough for making this happen.
For many of those who stay at our hospice, going to a cinema might not be a physical option, or they simply may not feel comfortable making that trip. Their child may have medical, or mobility needs which would make it a very difficult, or even impossible.
This new facility means families will be able to use the room at any time during their stay at the hospice, while making the space fit their needs - whether that is fun and lively or tranquil and relaxed with the beautiful ceiling of twinkling lights.
For the families who are staying at Rainbows because their child is receiving end of life care, or palliative symptom control care, this Cinema Room will be a place where they can make special memories. It is suitable for beds and wheelchairs, and it will be a place to spend quality time as a family.
And for many of our young people at the hospice, it is about freedom, being independent and choosing whatever films they wish to watch. Previously we used our conference room as a cinema, but that never felt like a cinema experience. This is much more intimate and we know it will create wonderful memories for hundreds of families.”
Anne-Marie Rosak, Head of Nursing and Clinical Operations at Rainbows Children’s Hospice.
“I was delighted to be asked to help open the new cinema room at Rainbow’s Children’s Hospice and witness what a difference this will make to so many children and young adults in the future.
I think it’s amazing; I can't believe how special it is! When you walk in, it is totally immersive and definitely has the wow factor. It will be a wonderful place for families to make memories together and that is what Rainbows is all about.
The big screen cinema feel, the excellent audio, the lighting, including the wonderful infinity ceiling, really make this a special gift to Rainbows.
Thank you to Ian and all involved with Together For Cinema for making this happen.”
Rakhee Thakrar is an acclaimed actress who has starred in many shows on the BBC and Netflix, as well as on the big screen. Her shows include Sex Education, EastEnders and The Girl Before and she will also appear in the 2023 blockbuster film, Wonka.
This was held on the morning of Tuesday 17th May and sadly there was no one present from our industry. A great shame but with ISE the week before I suspect everyone was crazy busy catching up after a busy week. Saddest of all was the fact that Gary Mills, who had worked so hard to make the room as amazing as it is, was unable to attend. He really was missed and all at the opening expressed their appreciation of his efforts.
We were however lucky enough to have the BBC with us in the shape of the East Midlands today crew, and their feature was due to shown that evening. Also in attendance were several of the care team at Rainbows and also two of the children who were raving about their new cinema room. They were both delighted and so grateful. One of them, a young girl called Bushra Bushra Zahid, 20, who has congenital muscular dystrophy and uses Rainbows, said:
"It is really beautiful and feels like a proper cinema. "This is really important to us because going to an actual cinema can be difficult for us."
Bushra also wanted me to thank everyone involved on her behalf.
We were also lucky enough to have Rakhee Thakrar join us who is an actress who has been in Eastenders, as well as several Netflix programmes and is currently filming for a big release next year of a film called Wonka – I wonder what this could be about? Rakhee was delightful and has been involved with Rainbows for several years. She was truly impressed with the immersive cinema experience and identified very quickly how valuable this room will be for many years to come.
To view the BBC East Midlands Today news clip please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vehFDpqES5s&t=3s
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 £25,000 for an end user price.
This was Together For Cinema’s 31st good cause cinema room installation and tipped us over the £700,000 mark of good cause installations, had they all been paid for. We are getting ever closer to our ambitious target of installing a total of 50 cinema rooms by 2026, at a total normal cost in excess of £1m. With the collaborative support of our industry we will undoubtedly achieve this, and I hope, a lot more…
Rainbows Children’s Hospice are delighted with the end result and we as an industry can be proud again that we have stepped up to make a difference.
I would like to close by again thanking Gary Mills and his installation team. With no financial return Gary simply got on with the job and has delivered a spectacular room with some spectacular equipment. On behalf of Together For Cinema and Rainbows Children’s Hospice, as well as the hundreds of children and young adults you will never meet, we thank you…
Together For Cinema is a pure and unquestionable good and with the help of our industry we will continue to make a difference.
“Together For Cinema – together for better”
For further details please contact Ian Morrish at:-
Work: 01372 454366 ♦ Mobile: 07768 398007 ♦ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report Created by Ian Morrish. All quotes to be from Ian Morrish, unless otherwise stated.