LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
Resources for Autism is a registered charity that provides practical services for children and adults with a diagnosis of autism and for those who love and care for them. Their vision is of a society where individuals on the autistic spectrum can live life as equal citizens in their community.
All staff and volunteers are autism trained and their services are designed to be welcoming and accepting of users, whatever their level of need and support. They are constantly developing new projects and are always happy to hear from anyone who would like a tailored provision.
Their services include:-
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
With awareness of Together For Cinema ever increasing I was introduced to Resources For Autism in November 2021 by someone else I had worked with at another care venue. With Covid still an issue it wasn’t until early February 2022 that I first went up to North London and met with the management and care team.
Visiting a specific care centre, as opposed to a children’s hospice, was a real eye opener for me, and gave me a valuable insight into the nature of Autism, how it presents itself and how the journey can be cradled going forward, for all the family. This understanding gave me a clearer picture of how we could help.
Whilst walking round the venue it became clear to me that one particular room would work perfectly as a location for a cinema room. It was their Music Room, but with a careful and considerate design we could maintain the functionality of the music room, in fact we could improve it, and install a discreet and functional home cinema facility.
Due to all sorts of challenges it wasn’t until November that we moved things forward. After much email communication I finally met with the Chief Executive, Dolyanna Mordochai, and we went through what we were proposing. Fortunately Dolyanna was 100% behind the proposal and we were all systems go, well, we needed a qualified installer to help create this new facility.
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
It was at the CEDIA Awards Dinner in October 2022 that I first met Jayesh Raghvani of Smart Living Solutions. He had approached me to see if he could help in any way and coincidentally Resources For Autism was local to him in North London.
Jay is involved in several charitable causes in his local area and he had no hesitation in meeting up at the Resources For Autism office in London. Once he visited, and appreciated the difference Resources For Autism makes in the community, he kindly agreed to take on the project management and installation of their new cinema room facility.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
With me held up on the trains I was sadly unable to join Jay at his November site visit to Resources For Autism. I had however given Jay a brief of what I felt could be achieved and apart from a few ‘expert installer tweaks’ this is what was proposed.
To maintain the multi-functionality of the room and to ensure that the character of the music room was maintained, we were unable to ‘dress’ the room with a film and cinema theme. This meant some single colour acoustic panels and one or two installation ‘limitations’.
This however didn’t detract from the end result. With the help of Desmond and Sons a ceiling frame for the Starscape infinity panel was created and Jay and his team at Smart Living Solutions designed a room that maintained its multifunctionality but at the click of a button transformed into an immersive cinema space.
To create this room Jay and I created an ambitious kit list that including of course the equipment required for the cinema, but also lighting, automated blinds and a refurb of the acoustic panelling. The end result would represent a discreet change to the rooms day to day usage, but a major change when transformed for cinema time…
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS:
With an industry united to make a difference and ever supportive of Together For Cinema I am always confident to secure the items we need, however, it is always pleasantly surprising as to how warm a reception we receive when we ask.
Many of the old favourites came good again including Bowers & Wilkins, Control4, Denon, HDANYWHERE, Legrand, Lutron, Peerless, Sony, Starscape and Velodyne, and it was great to have Desmond and Sons involved again. Thank you to you all.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
Another installation full of pedigree brands and excellent products as follows:-
Thursday 1st June, 2023.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Monday 24th July, 2023
Eight weeks from start to finish but with a busy centre comes limited access, hence the installation had to be completed in stages.
After a busy Summer we were delighted to gather at Resources For Autism on the morning of Wednesday September 20th. With busy work schedules, and an industry recovering from CEDIA Expo and Ei Live!, it was a small gathering, but nonetheless important.
We were joined by the installation team from Smart Living Solutions, and about 10 of the team at Resources For Autism who were given their first demo of the equipment that had been installed. Needless to say they were blown away and Jay, Sailesh and Kish from Smart Living Solutions had some interesting questions to answer, which of course they all handled brilliantly.
We also shot a couple of videos that we have posted on Social Media and please watch these if you get the chance. Though please note my videographer skills leave a little to be desired – the sentiment comes over which is the most important thing!
The enthusiasm, the excitement and the gratitude from all the Resources For Autism team was plain to see and really does make all the work worthwhile to make these rooms happen. They all have great plans to use the room for cinema nights, for fundraising , for training etc…, basically an AV facility that will make a really positive difference to a charity like RFA that works so hard to generate the funding to continue their great work.
It was a real pleasure for Together For Cinema and Smart Living Solutions to work with them and I’m sure we will be able to help them again in the future.
Jayesh Raghvani, Managing Director, Smart Living Solutions
”When Ian first contacted us about the possibility of installing a cinema room in our venue, I was not sure what to make of it. We had never been approach for a gift in kind of that nature. When we first met and he showed me what was possible I started getting excited. When Jay and Ian came to visit us and we started imagining the space, I remember looking at my team and we felt so excited about all the ways we could use this room and the difference it would make to our youth groups. We work with autistic young people and adults and appropriate spaces which are developed with their sensory needs in mind are so very rare. Our new cinema room is a space where our beneficiaries can relax, enjoy a sensory experience of watching a movie with state of the Art technology of vision and sound. This is absolutely special and something we could not ever afford to do.
Every part of this partnership has reminded us that there are people out there who are willing to support our cause in unique and innovative ways. We will make full use of this gift and we are so grateful to Ian, Jay and the team at Together for Cinema for everything they have done to make this possible for our Autism Community. We just cannot wait to get started!”
Dolyanna Mordochai, Chief Executive Officer, Resources For Autism
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU…, you have helped make a real difference at Resources For Autism, and in turn, have made a real difference to so many people’s lives.
As with any Together For Cinema project we were keen for the installation not to cost the venue anything at all. This is fine in theory, but in practice this sometimes doesn’t work out. However, with Jayesh managing the installation he was able to make this happen. His drive to deliver, his ability to secure all the skills required to make this happen, along with the generosity of our industry, made this a real gift that will be appreciated by so many for so long.
For Resources For Autism this is a great addition to their facility and one that would never normally have been considered or discussed as a budgetary possibility. Had it been a paid for installation the total cost, including consultation, design, installation and all the products would have been in the region of £28,000.
A cinema room is a wonderful addition but there are so many other financial priorities at Resources For Autism that if this wasn’t gifted, it simply wouldn’t happen.
This was Together for Cinema’s 39th completed good cause cinema room installation and took the Together for Cinema good cause community delivery to over £960,000 worth of installations, had they all been paid for. We will hit the £1,000,000 worth of cinema room installations by the end of September 2023.
I have to again mention the incredible commitment from Jayesh Raghvani and his team at Smart Living Solutions. His commitment to his community is unquestioned and this installation was yet another positive difference that he has made. Thanks also again to Martin Desmond of Desmond and Sons for his commitment to help make this happen.
Another special memory making room is now complete and it’s great what an industry united can achieve…
“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.