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Dream-makers: industry pooling resources for hospice entertainment rooms

David Davies 18 July 2011
Dream-makers: industry pooling resources for hospice entertainment rooms

Plans are afoot to bring high-spec entertainment rooms to multiple Children’s Hospices UK facilities following on from the unprecedented industry collaboration at Donna’s Dream House in Blackpool last year, writes David Davies.

As previously documented on IE Residential (read here), Donna’s Dream House is a holiday home for terminally ill children and their families. The creation of a state-of-the-art cinema and entertainment room, Luke’s Den, occasioned contributions from some of the CI industry’s leading names, with CSE Solutions, Icon Distribution, Niko UK, Onkyo, PMC and Redline Distribution all donating equipment.

The coordinator and ‘public face’ of the CI sector’s involvement in Donna’s Dream House was Ian Morrish, a former hi-fi industry veteran who now works as sales manager for Integrated Systems Events.

Now, Morrish has plans to take the initiative UK-wide in conjunction with Children’s Hospices UK, which oversees nearly 50 hospices around the country. A number of these facilities have already expressed interest in the development of advanced cinema/entertainment rooms, and Morrish is expecting to begin detailed discussions with seven of the hospices – located in Benfleet, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Luton, Walsall, Winchester and Belfast – during the next few months.

An estimated 23,500 children and young people in the UK will die before they reach adulthood. Children’s hospice services help young people and their families to cope in periods of great emotional, physical and financial stress. The addition of high-spec entertainment rooms, says Morrish, would offer a further – and extremely welcome – dimension to hospice care.

“For each entertainment room we will need a projector, screen, media server, DVD player, AV processor, comprehensive speaker package, universal remote control, cables and other accessories,” he says. “The only we can make this happen is for the industry to get involved. We need manufacturers and retailers to donate equipment, and installers to take on the practical implementation.”

Morrish is already off to a strong start – CEDIA has committed to the project and will assist by liaising with its membership to identify potential local installers – but hopes that companies from across the CI spectrum will step forward and volunteer their support in the months ahead

“Knowing that through our work these children can, for a moment or two, lose themselves in a film shown on a system that they might never normally experience is a fantastic reward,” he says. “I would invite anyone in the industry to get in touch if they are able to offer equipment or assistance, either now in the future. Your support would be very much appreciated.”

Ian can be reached on +44 (0)1372 454366 (landline), +44 (0)7768 398007 (mobile) and (email).

IE Residential will be tracking the development of the new entertainment rooms, so keep an eye on the site for further updates.

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