A new report submitted to EI by Together For Cinema founder Ian Morrish, covers this ambitious cinema project carried out for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice by Bespoke Home Cinemas.
The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice located in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire is a pioneering children’s hospice that never stops looking for new and better ways to support local children and their families.
Forget Me Not’s vision is to deliver pioneering care through pregnancy, childhood and loss, whenever families need them, whatever their future holds. This vision is made a reality by offering high quality, bespoke, specialist services for Mums and Dads to be, babies, children and their families, coping with life-limiting conditions and living with loss being inclusive, accessible and available 24/7 in the hospice, at home, in hospital and in communities. This ensures that every penny raised and every minute gifted is focused on the needs of the families supported. The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which inspect hospices, rates Forget Me Not as ‘outstanding’, putting them in the top 1% of all of the organisations they inspect.
For such an ambitious organisation, the provision of a cinema had to also go the extra mile and this is where Bespoke Home Cinemas enters the scene in partnership with Together For Cinema (TFC).
The first contact TFC had from Forget Me Not was way back in July 2011, this was a result of an article published in the Children’s Hospices UK (now Together For Short Lives) newsletter. It reported on one of TFC’s other installations and as the search continued for other other venues to install into, and prompted a call to TFC.
Sadly, nothing came of this initial contact, and it wasn’t until January 2020 that contact was established for a second time. Again, this was as a result of a member of staff at Forget Me Not seeing one of the installations, the cinema room at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley.
Towards the end of 2019 TFC had set up a Steering Committee to help define the journey of how the initiative would progress. The organisation is fortunate to have Melanie Malcolm, Director of Bespoke Home Cinemas, sitting on the Steering Committee and Melanie’s business is based in Leeds, and she had always said Bespoke would be happy to take on a TFC installation if the opportunity arose. So, when TFC was contacted in January 2020 by one of Forget Me Not’s team it was an easy match and Melanie hapily committed for her team to take the installation on.
Unfortunately, COVID rather put pay to any chances of getting together at the beginning of 2020. However, by the end of summer there was a little more confidence and Melanie, along with her Husband Gifford Malcom, Managing Director of Bespoke Home Cinemas, were able to visit Forget Me Not and view the proposed room for the installation. This meeting took place on Friday September 11, 2020.
The proposed room was being used as a board room and had a commissioned graffiti style mural painted on one wall to mark the original opening of the hospice and it was a request that this artwork was to be kept in place. There were a few design challenges the Bespoke team had to overcome, as there are with most installations of this kind, but the final design drawn up was perfect and satisfied all the requirements needed in this special and specific environment.
After a short discussion between the parties concerned the design was approved and an ambitious kit list was drawn up. This included, star lighting effects, 4K projector, a new (first in production) state of the art halo cinema screen with LED surround, motorised blinds and acoustic fabric walls. A really ambitious ask from the AV industry but one that it was felt was achievable.
Bespoke Home Cinemas were keen to help with the sourcing of some of the products required and very soon the industry had both Bespoke Home Cinemas and TFC out in the field gathering items. Needless to say it didn’t take too long to secure commitments for most of the products and yet again the generosity of the industry was astounding and credit to all who donated.
The install was spread over a three-week period due to other installation works scheduled by Bespoke, but the actual installation took only six physical working days! The team really put in the extra hours to turn this room around whilst taking into consideration the day to day operations within the hospice environment.
Friday August, 6 the Hospice hosted an official Cinema Room Opening at Forget Me Not, wedged between various scheduled film screenings for the children. Industry colleagues from Epson, HDCONNECTIVITY, ONEAV and Cinema Build Systems, as well as others who were involved as part of the hospice itself were in attendance. Needless to say the demo provided from Gifford Malcolm was really impressive and reflected all the hard work that was put in to make the room as great as it is.
Ian Morrish, founder of TFC, Melanie Malcolm and Luen Thompson, the CEO of Forget Me Not, all said a few words and Gifford was on hand to make sure not a single photo opportunity was missed.
Gifford says, “We feel privileged to have worked on in this project, we wanted to provide the best room physically possible and with the support from our suppliers we did just that. For some children and families who sadly are unable to experience a commercial cinema environment the room provides that ultimate cinematic atmosphere with a little sprinkle of magic.”
Melanie adds, “We have always wanted to donate one of our cinema rooms to charity and after recently celebrating our 25th year in business and Forget Me Not Hospice celebrating their 10th Birthday it’s a very special gift from us to them! This room will be one Gifford and I, together with our Bespoke Home Cinemas team, will hold as a special place in our hearts, hearing the pleasure and joy it will bring to the children and families makes all the time and effort worthwhile.”
Luen sums up, “This year we’re celebrating 10 years since our hospice was built. Being able to mark this incredible milestone with a fantastic state-of-the-art cinema room is something we could never have imagined. Many of our families cannot go to public cinemas because of their child’s condition and so miss out on this uniquely wonderful experience. That we can now bring the magic of the movies to them right here at the hospice means the world to all of us. This will give so many families the chance to make very special memories together. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.”
TFC Kit List Supporters
KIT LIST THAT WAS DONATED:
AWE Europe (General): Ongoing support and assistance in securing the required items.
Cinema Build Systems (Screen): Halo screen with LED surround.
Cinema Build Systems (Accessories): Various electrical items.
Collingwood Lighting (Lighting): 16 x H2 pro lights.
Control4 (Control): EA1 and an SR260 remote control.
Denon / Sound United (AV Amp/Receiver): AVCX3700.
Desmond and Sons: Acoustic Fabric wall installation.
Epson (Projector): TW9400.
Future Automation (Bracket): PM uni bracket.
Habitech (Accessories): Cable.
HDANYWHERE (Cables): 1 x MHUB U40, 4 x 2m HDMI cables and 1 x 15m HDMI cable.
LT Design and Project Management: CGI cinema room renders.
Middle Atlantic (Cabinet): Various items: rack cabinet, shelving, bars and trays.
Monitor Audio (Speakers): 4 x C380 FX, 4 x CP-CT380 IDC and 2 x Radius 390’s.
QMotion (Automated Blinds): 2 x battery powered fabric blinds in ‘Signature purple’.
Rako (Lighting Control): Control units as required.
Riding Flooring (Flooring): Stage carpet, supply and fit.
Sony (BluRay Player): UPB X800M2 with smart apps.
Starscape (Lighting): 6 x custom star panels.
On top of the list above many other products and accessories were generously donated by Bespoke Home Cinemas.