Dougie Mac Children’s Hospice has been making a difference to people’s lives in Stoke on Trent since 1973.
They provide life-changing services to local people, young and old, whilst they battle life-limiting illnesses. Their hospice is designed to provide a comfortable, home-from-home environment for their patients.
With lots of different styles of rooms already such as a sensory room, a family room, an activity playroom and a music specialist room, the only thing they were missing was a dedicated cinema room for the children to enjoy their favourite films in.
In this article, we want to show you how our collaboration with Together for Cinema came to fruition and the final outcome of our cinema room installation.
Together for Cinema is an organisation in England that designs and installs home cinemas in hospices across the UK, with this case being their 35th home cinema installation so far. These cinema rooms benefit the children and young adults in hospices but also the staff, families and carers.
Together for Cinema was contacted by Dougie Mac Children’s Hospice back when Dougie Mac was known as The Donna Louise Trust. Conversations were had in 2013 and again in 2016 but due to work pressures and limited resources, things were put on pause.
However, in August 2021 the plan came into action and that’s where we come in.
After receiving the phone call from Ian (the founder of Together for Cinema), we had no hesitations in supporting an amazing charity and from the moment we got involved have been blown away by the generosity of our industry and the passion of Ian Morrish.
Andy (our Managing Director) met with Ian and they visited the children’s hospice together. They both met with Jane Jones, the Head of Children and Young Adult Services, and assessed the space.
“My visit was one of the most humbling experiences of my life and listening to Jane and Nikki, and witnessing first-hand the shear generosity from the public by donations and volunteering, gave me real hope in humanity.”
The room was large with plenty of opportunity for changes to the interiors, and only a few hoists and medical requirements to work through. Andy knew that it would be manageable to work through these challenges and as they discussed with Jane they knew that this cinema room was going to be something special.
“We wanted to deliver an incredible cinema for the hospice something that could be enjoyed by all of the children and deliver escapism even for only a couple of hours. Jane told me how much the children loved simply looking at the stars in the sky through a skylight in the hospice and this really touched me. This was the reason we wanted to get the 12sq mt Starscape ceiling in the project.”
The existing room
The room in question didn’t have a particular use so the home cinema was the perfect setup for this room.
Andy and Ian met and came up with all of the materials and products they would need to make this installation happen; excellent AV, effective lighting, black out blinds and acoustic panels are just some of the important elements of a home cinema setup and this one was no different.
“Working with Simon Grattidge, Managing Director of SInemas and the man I consider the best cinema designer in the world, we put together a plan and design to deliver something unique. It was important to aid in the sonic performance of the space which was quite bright and had a lot of reflective surfaces.” – Andy Bell, Managing Director, Trusted Technology.
They set to work securing product donations from various organisations, including many partners we were already working with at Trusted Technology.
Some of these are: Epson, HDANYWHERE, Penn Elcom, QMotion, Rako, Snap One / Control4, Sinemas, Sony and Starscape.
In addition, Wisdom Audio had already pledged their support for Together for Cinema and they were interested in getting involved with the installation, so their products were added to the list.
We would like to say a big thank you to all of our partners who donated products - without you, this project would not have been possible.
The transformation process
The installation started on the 2nd of August 2022 and it was completed on the 31st of August 2022.
Our team had 4 weeks on-site to reduce the ceiling height, build the Starscape ceiling and create a new wall for the speakers. Plasterers and painters also ensured the room was fully finished to deliver what we hope will allow for years of fun for the children, young adults, families and care team at the hospice.
In the images below you can see what a transformation it was!
A lot of work went in to this project and the team did an amazing job of re-constructing the setup of this room and transforming it into an incredible space.
Many thanks to Dougie Mac for keeping our team fuelled in food and coffee!
We are really happy with the final outcome of this project; a modern, bright and welcoming home cinema room, complete with a Starscape ceiling.
The bright paintings on the wall bring the room to life and we can picture so many enjoying their favourite movies in this room for years to come.
This project is one of the most expensive installations that Together for Cinema has done to date, and it was all made possible by the generous donors and some good old-fashioned teamwork. The total cost, including consultation, design, installation and all the products would have been around £90,000.
Here at Trusted Technology we are delighted to have helped make this happen and to have been a part of something that will truly make a difference for young people in the hospice.
The grand opening of the cinema room was well-received by staff, children and families alike. Not to mention we had special guest Rachel Shenton come by to support her local community.
“I have to again mention the incredible commitment that Andy Bell from Trusted Technology, and their installation team, have put in to make this happen. With no financial return, they have all simply got on with the job and have delivered something incredibly special. A huge time commitment and as we all know ‘time is money’ so this is also a significant financial cost. I suspect they will all have enjoyed the experience and will have found the journey an emotional one.” – Ian Morrish, Together for Cinema.