Christopher's Children’s Hospice
(part of Shooting Star Chase)
Old Portsmouth Road
LOCATION AND INTRODUCTION:
Christopher’s in Guildford is one of Shooting Star Chase’s two children’s hospices, the other being Shooting Star House in Hampton. Christopher’s was opened in 2001 and Shooting Star House in 2005.
From babies to young people up to the age of 21, Shooting Star Chase supports families from diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement with a range of nursing, practical, emotional and medical care. Receiving hospice care does not mean that a child’s death is imminent – in fact many who visit are living active lives but wish to have some time in a supportive, caring environment. Families are supported who live in London and Surrey and care is for the whole family, offering a bespoke service to suit each member’s individual needs. The support is free of charge to families and available 365 days a year, and the care service includes short breaks at both locations, Hospice at Home, day care, symptom management, end-of-life care, bereavement care and a comprehensive range of therapies and support groups for the whole family.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
It was back in July 2014 that Stuart Tickle from AWE Europe, one of the AV industries largest custom install product distributors, mentioned Shooting Star Chase to me as he had helped raise funds for them by taking part in the Rat Race Coast to Coast challenge. Having got in touch with their Head of Fundraising it was apparent that it wasn’t the right timing to consider the installation of a cinema room at either location, but they would like to come back to me when it might be more feasible.
Fast forward to October 2015 and I was contacted by Alex Rennie, the Head of Corporate and Challenge Events at Shooting Star Chase, and the timing was right for us to meet and discuss the opportunities open to them. On November 26th a meeting was arranged between myself and three members of the Shooting Star Chase team, these being Alex Rennie, Geraldine Sheedy, Head of Care and Jane Magowan, the Estates Manager. We had a very positive meeting and Together For Cinema agreed that we could help them with a high quality home cinema installation and we moved to the next stage of finding an appropriate installer...
HOW THE INSTALLER / PROJECT MANAGER WAS FOUND:
Soon after my meeting in November 2015 I spoke to Gary Lewis at Cornflake as he had already mentioned that he was keen to get involved in a Together For Cinema installation. As a former CEDIA Chairman and living locally to Christopher’s it seemed to be the perfect match, and it certainly proved to be...
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
A meeting was set up between Christopher’s, Together For Cinema and Gary Lewis and John Fitzpatrick, from Cornflake. The end result was a unanimous ‘all systems go’ and a very ambitious installation incorporating not only a cinema, but also a lighting plan and automated blinds was about to be put into place. This meeting took place on December 4th and we were able to start the planning, but there needed to be a small amount of partitioning work done at Christopher’s to prepare their Garden Room for the installation. With ISE, the AV industry’s main trade event of the year, at the beginning of February it was suggested that we reconvene in April and a further meeting took place at which Cornflake brought along a lighting designer and a local contact from Philips Lighting in Guildford. At this meeting we drew up a required cinema product list, which we all felt was reasonable to achieve, a lighting brief, which had already been secured, and a preferred way forward to secure the automated blinds. With 7 Velux windows installed in an unreachable ceiling and several large side windows this was looking tricky as the cost was significant and expertise required was very specific. Fortunately Cornflake had an installer who specialised in blinds and hence we just needed the product…
SOURCING OF PRODUCT:
As with any of the Together For Cinema installations a fairly ambitious kit list was created, particularly as we were hopeful to secure all of the product free of any charge. However I was confident that we could secure most if not all of the items required. As there are three main aspects of the installation, the cinema, the lighting and the blinds, I will cover these separately in terms of how the products were secured.
With this installation being the 16th cinema room installation from Together For Cinema we are very fortunate that the industry support is now at a level whereby many brands have asked me to let me know what we need and where it needs to be sent to, and this was certainly the case for the cinema installation at Christopher’s. Some old favourites such as Crestron, Middle Atlantic (via RGB Communications), Monitor Audio, NAD, Projector Point and Wyrestorm all donated again and Habitech very kindly donated several other items that were required. Due to the complexity of the installation a short throw projector was required and Cornflake very kindly donated a suitable Panasonic product that they had available.
With Cornflake having a contact at Philips Lighting in Guildford and also at lighting designer’s Future Light Design, we were very fortunate to be able to secure a Philips Hue Lighting system with wireless control. Lighting can transform an installation, but particularly for the children who find lighting and colour variances so stimulating.
With these aspects now covered I will also mention Cornflake who donated several items at their own cost such as iPads, switches, cables etc…
As you will appreciate this had now turned into a very comprehensive kit list indeed, and as it turned out our most expensive installation so far. However, with the right contacts, and a lot of generosity and goodwill, and some perseverance, we were able to secure all the products required. A big thank you to all that have helped to create a very special cinema room that will be used and enjoyed by the kids and their families for many years to come...
Monday 18th July, 2016
INSTALLER PRE-INSTALL COMMENTS:
“It was obvious from our first visit that there were numerous challenges with the room chosen for the installation; namely where could we hang a projector with such a vaulted ceiling! Unfortunately we didn’t quite have the same luxury as some of our projects where the solution comes first and the cost comes second. The solution that was opted for was a short throw projector on an arm mounted above the electric drop-down screen. It was also apparent that the room would be in use throughout the day which posed another challenge; both large & Velux windows. It was a must that automated blinds be installed to ensure easy operation of the system. Simply select the source that you wish to view and everything else is taken care of.”
Gary Lewis and John Fitzpatrick, Cornflake.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Thursday 22nd December, 2016.
CUSTOMER POST INSTALL COMMENTS:
“From the moment the Garden Cinema Room was officially launched the children immediately began using it. A group of little girls sat in awe watching Elf and later in the evening George had a private viewing of his favourite Harry Potter movie and he chose the soft red lighting effect for the room. The Garden Room has always had many uses but with the addition of the multi-coloured remote blackout blinds, impressive surround sound and the stunning Hue Lighting means that the sensory effects we are now able to create, will add a whole new dimension to the important experiences we can give the children and young people. Our Teenage Youth Group can’t wait for their first Movie Night and the Tweenies Group is looking forward to using our Magic Carpet equipment in a much larger and darker space where they can all join in the fun! We are also planning to hold a monthly ‘Movie Night’ for the staff. The team here at Christopher’s are very excited to learn all about our wonderful new Cinema and Lighting system which will bring many hours, days and years of enjoyment creating many special, long lasting memories for the children, young people and families who visit Christopher’s. A huge thank you to Together for Cinema!”
Geraldine Sheedy, Head of Care and Jane Magowan, Estates Manager, Christopher’s
INSTALLER POST INSTALL COMMENTS:
“Following all the great preparation work and redecoration carried out by Shooting Star Chase and a couple of hard day’s work from the guys at Future Light Design. It was time for our engineers to carry out the main installation of the hardware and commission the system, some of the equipment that was sourced was slightly different from our usual product lines (much to the enjoyment of our Crestron programmer at 18:00 on a Saturday). However a couple of long days later and the system was fully installed and functional barring the automated Blinds. Although a slight delay due to holidays, business commitments etc… the blinds were installed by ACE in perfect time for the system to be enjoyed over the festive break. All of us at Cornflake have found it an absolute pleasure to be involved in such a great cause and look forward to hearing how the system is being enjoyed to its full!”
Gary Lewis and John Fitzpatrick, Cornflake.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
On top of the list above many other products and accessories were generously donated by Cornflake.
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU to you all!! …you have all helped create a little bit of magic at Christopher’s.
On Thursday 22nd December, 2016 the Garden Room doors opened at Christopher’s and about 20 people celebrated the opening of the new cinema room. The afternoon included a demonstration of all the equipment and a few words were said by myself, Geraldine Sheedy (Head of Care at Christopher’s) and also Gary Lewis from Cornflake.
Those who attended included representation from Christopher’s of course, as well as Cornflake, Future Light Design, QMotion, Habitech, Crestron, RGB Communications, Wildwood PR and CE Pro Europe.
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 £42,000 for an end user price. Cornflake have also committed to be available for any servicing and technical queries post install.
For Together For Cinema, this installation is our 16th completed cinema room in a children’s hospice and we are now well over half way to our initial target of 25 rooms to be completed by 2020, this being about 50% of the children’s hospices in the Together For Short Lives group. We already have three more lined up for 2017 these being Julia’s House in Devizes, Wiltshire, Charlton Farm in Bristol and the James Hopkins Trust in Stoke, and the aim is that these will all be completed by the end of 2017.
The cinema room at Christopher’s is another fantastic result, with more great support from the industry to help make it happen. Thanks must go to all involved, particularly Gary Lewis and John Fitzpatrick of Cornflake who gave a huge amount of time and donated several products to help make it happen. Their efforts, and the generosity of all concerned, will make a difference to all those that use the room for many years to come. Very simply, the cinema room at Christopher’s is another installation our industry can be very proud of.