The Dorset Children’s Foundation (DCF) is located in Boscombe, just outside of Bournemouth, in Dorset.
three charity shops with sales covering their modest overheads, hence
They are very hands-on and pride themselves on their personal approach.
HOW INITIAL CONTACT WAS MADE:
It was at EI Live! in September 2021 that I was approached by Luke and Wayne Crutcher from Living Home Technology in Dorset, asking if I’d be interested in Together For Cinema possibly helping at the DCF. Clearly this was local charity that they had an empathy with and wanted to help as best they could.
Whilst we chatted I also mentioned to them about another installation that I was involved with in Dorset at Julia’s House Children’s Hospice and they seemed keen to help with this. Time ticked on, and Covid played its part, but we eventually arranged a day whereby we could all visit Julia’s House and the DCF retail outlet in the Boscombe shopping centre. This was on Monday April 4th 2022.
INITIAL MEETING AND SPECIFICATION:
April 4th, 2022 was a busy day for Together For Cinema… We had a meeting at Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, then a meeting at the retail outlet of the DCF, and then after this I was to meet Chris Pinder at Gatwick airport as he arrived home from his incredible fundraising efforts running the Marathon des Sables raising an amazing amount of money for Together For Cinema. A busy day, but a great day…
The meeting with Patsy Hallmey and Adrienne Coles at the DCF could not have gone better, and their energy and enthusiasm for what we proposed was so infectious that we were committed to help in the best way that we could. Very simply we had the option to install a cinema style facility in their charity retail outlet in Boscombe. A very different styled installation for both Living Home Technology and Together For Cinema, but one that we knew would make a huge difference to the children and families in the Dorset area. Cinema afternoons and nights were discussed, private viewings etc…, and it became apparent that this would be used on a regular basis to help bring the magic of the cinema to those that either physically would struggle to go to a cinema or simply couldn’t afford to.
With the area being a retail outlet we were conscious to make the installation ‘transferable’ in case it needed to be moved to another unit in the shopping centre. With this in mind a kit list was drawn up that would suit the needs of the installation.
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS:
We had a varied route to gather the required products for this installation, with a mix of new, second hand and ex-demo items coming together to create the end result.
We were however fortunate enough to have a wonderful offer of a CHiQ Laser TV system from Chris Pinder of One AV. This had been offered to us several months before and seemed to be a great solution for the space that was available to us. Chris also kindly donated the cable that was needed from his company HDANYWHERE.
Along with this, Function Control from Scotland had donated some excellent second hand equipment to Together For Cinema. This was in perfect working order and we were able to utilise the Marantz AVR, the Panasonic Blu-Ray player and the REL Sub-Woofer. Some of the speakers were donated by Crestron and Living Home Technology had a couple of Triad speakers that made up the ‘5’ of the 5.1. We were also hugely grateful to Pulse-Eight for a last minute call for some Baluns which they kindly supplied.
Another all round great effort by the industry to help make this room happen and ultimately bring some magic moments to the children of Dorset.
Tuesday 9th August, 2022.
INSTALL COMPLETED AND FINAL SIGN OFF:
Wednesday 10th August, 2022.
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
“We can remember going to the cinema for the first time as kids, and having grown up to build cinemas for a living (no pun intended!), that magic clearly hasn’t gone away for us! It was such a special moment for each of us when we took our children to the cinema for the first time, but realising that this isn’t possible for families of children with serious medical conditions, we looked for a way to help.
We sought out Ian Morris of Together for Cinema (TFC), and teamed up to create a very special cinema room for the Dorset Children’s Foundation (DCF). Installing the immersive cinema into a retail space posed a unique set of challenges, and we designed the space to be transferable in case it needed be moved to another unit, to meet the demands of the charity and their day-to-day running and care for the children.
We really wanted to make a difference and help this local charity. We’ve loved being involved – Together For Cinema do such amazing work and it’s been an honour to contribute to their projects and bring joy to children who might not otherwise get the chance.”
Luke and Wayne Crutcher, Directors, Living Home Technology.
“Having our very own cinema installed is wonderful and has opened up amazing opportunities for the families we support, who often are not able or are not comfortable accessing mainstream cinema. In many instances the cinema environment is just too noisy for a disabled child. Also having to sit still and not make noises to disturb others, for example is not always possible. So having our own accessible and inclusive cinema means so much as they will not be stared at but accepted and accommodated and able to enjoy the performance as a family. We have purchased some large bean bags so wheelchair users can be hoisted out of their chairs and sit in comfort.
The cinema experience will be part of our ‘Accessible for All’ programme of events and activities and is a fantastic addition to this, which won’t cost us anything to provide as its on our premises. Not only that we can use the equipment in the shop for: Key messages, birthday parties, sing-a-longs, themed days in the shop, Polish and Ukranian story time films to involve further members of our community. We can also arrange intimate family days for a special treat, especially for those going through a hard time who may be able to forget their troubles for a moment.
The team that installed the equipment were lovely to work with and made it all so easy for us. We really can’t thank everyone involved enough. This will go on to put so many smiles on so many faces, and for a small independent charity like us it’s really incredible to have.”
Adrienne Coles, Head of Marketing, Dorset Children’s Foundation.
This was held on Monday 3rd October at The Treehouse retail outlet of the Dorset Children’s Foundation. We were delighted to welcome some important local guests, some children and parents and of course Luke from Living Home Technology and some of the companies that donated products. Thanks go to Mike Lavelle from Penn Elcom and Michelle Ellis and Marc Waple from Pulse-Eight for joining us.
This was certainly not our ‘normal’ children’s hospice opening day. Being held in a retail outlet in a shopping centre was a very different style opening for us, but it certainly didn’t detract from us all understanding the impact that this new facility will have in the community.
Adrienne Coles, the DCF’s Head of Marketing enthusiastically outlined some of their plans for future events and we were delighted to hear of the range and extent of these. It may not be our ‘normal’ install but it’ll be used and enjoyed as much, if not more, than many of our other installations.
With speeches done, presentations made, a quick demo, photos and videos taken we left the shop to do what it does best, to raise much needed funds to help make a positive difference to the thousands of disabled children in Dorset.
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING IT HAPPEN:
THANK YOU…, you have helped make a real difference to the work that the Dorset Children’s Foundation do, and in turn, have made a real difference to so many people’s lives.
The DCF raises money to help enrich the lives of disabled children and their families in Dorset. Needless to say the operation runs on a tight budget and there is little ‘luxury’ budget available. Therefore, gifts such as a £12,000 cinema room facility really do make a huge difference. Not only by giving the children the opportunity to enjoy an excellent movie experience, but it also gives the volunteers a boost to know that there are industries like ours that are keen to help.
This was Together For Cinema’s 33rd good cause cinema room installation and takes us to about £750,000 pounds worth of good cause installations. With about £125,000 worth of installs still to be completed this year we should be close to £900,000 worth of donated installs by the end of 2022, and hence, we, as an industry united should hit the £1,000,000 mark of donated good cause installations in Summer 2023.
The team at the DCF are delighted with the end result and we as an industry can be proud again that we have stepped up to make a difference.
In closing I want to thank Luke and Wayne at Living Home Technology for their input and skill in making this happen. The week before they started at the DCF they had completed the cinema room installation at Julia’s House Children’s Hospice and the very next week they installed at the DCF’s retail outlet in Boscombe. Two donated cinema rooms in two weeks. It’s never happened before and I suspect it won’t happen again… On behalf of your industry peers, as well as so many that will enjoy these rooms in the future, thank you.
“Together For Cinema – together for better”