Cherry Trees blossoms with TFC support

Cherry Trees, a UK charity providing respite care for children and young adults aged 0-19 with a range of complex disabilities including learning, physical and sensory impairments, recently received support from Together for Cinema (TFC) to create a remarkable cinema room.

The journey began when a local bathroom company's MD mentioned the great work done by Cherry Trees during a conversation with Ian Morrish, TFC’s Founder. Intrigued by the opportunity to help, Ian contacted Cherry Trees and, after a meeting on-site, the commitment to support the charity was made.

“With Cherry Trees being a charity that’s local to me, I’ve been aware of the great work they do in our community for many years. However, it wasn’t until last July that I finally reached out to them,” says Morrish. “The next thing I knew, we had committed to help. Eight months later, we have completed their new cinema room!”

TFC never works alone and needed the assistance of an experienced installer. "I knew I had a list of companies that would offer their time and installation skills, but nevertheless, I had to find the right one, preferably someone from the local area," Morrish explains. James Applin from Nethaus, who had expressed interest in supporting TFC, eagerly joined the project. "About 30 seconds into my conversation with James, he exclaimed, 'Yes, I'm in!', and I thought ‘Great! We have an installer!’,” adds Morrish.

With Applin on board, a site meeting was scheduled at the end of September to discuss the project specifics and plan the installation process. During the visit, Morrish and Applin met with Cherry Trees' chief operating officer, Clare Colborne-Baber, as well as members of the management and care team. They explored the room earmarked for the cinema and discussed the limitations and challenges they would face. “Challenges are there to be overcome, and James had solutions for them all!” exclaims Morrish, adding that one of the key aspects was maintaining the room's multifunctionality while ensuring an immersive cinema experience. By utilizing a large wall for a fixed frame screen, they successfully managed to create a visually striking setup.

To support the installation, TFC received a generous £5,000 donation from Silicon Laboratories UK. This financial contribution enabled the purchase of specific items that would otherwise have been challenging to secure and numerous manufacturers and suppliers also donated the necessary equipment, with Epson, Monitor Audio, QMotion, and Snap One particularly noteworthy for their significant contributions. “The collaboration and generosity of these companies and many other partners that worked with us on this project once again showcased the industry's willingness to make a positive impact,” says Morrish.

The donated kit list for the cinema room installation included various essential components, with Masimo Consumer Audio providing a Denon 7-channel AVR, while Epson contributed an EB-L630U projector for high-quality visuals. Monitor Audio supplied speakers and subwoofers, QMotion provided automated blinds to enhance the viewing experience, and Snap One delivered a Control4 Core 1 controller and an SR260 remote, complete with battery and charging dock. Other companies such as Netgear, Nethaus, Peerless, Penn Elcom, and Webro also made valuable contributions, ensuring a comprehensive setup.

The installation process began on May 9, 2023, and was completed a mere three days later, on May 12, enabling Cherry Trees to almost instantly enjoy their newly transformed cinema room.

Colborne-Baber expresses her overwhelming joy with the new facility. "We were truly amazed when we first heard that someone was offering to come to Cherry Trees and build us a cinema room!” she says. “Initially, we were unsure if we had a suitable room, but that didn't stop Ian and James, who worked their magic. They have shown unwavering commitment to the project and displayed incredible generosity in creating this wonderful space.

"On behalf of everyone at Cherry Trees, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Together for Cinema, Nethaus, and the many companies from the industry who generously contributed equipment. We absolutely love our new cinema room, and we know it will bring joy to our children and young people for years to come. Having this new facility is incredible as we can tailor the cinema experience to meet the needs of our young people with suitable lighting, noise levels, and breaks if necessary, so that everyone can join in the fun. The children are particularly loving ‘Singing Hands’ and Makaton on the big screen with amazing sound effects – it makes such a difference to the experience and encourages everyone to really get involved!”

"Nethaus has been working in the CI industry for 23 years, during which we have been exposed to highs and lows, witnessing many changes and trends,” Applin comments. “But sometimes, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I’ve felt the work we’ve undertaken lacked soul, and the meaning and impact we aspire to achieve. And then I met Ian at another trade show and thought to myself, ‘What a great concept! We’re doing what we do, but for a massively appreciative audience’. So, when Ian contacted me about the project with Cherry Trees, without any hesitation, I said ‘Yes!’

“My work with Ian and the team at Cherry Trees entailed figuring out how best to achieve a great picture and good sound for a truly deserving audience. The room wasn’t the easiest to work with, but we got there in the end. I’m truly thankful to all the manufacturers who joined in making the room work. It has boosted my confidence in human nature, from Ian to the staff at Cherry Trees to the manufacturers who donated the kit, everyone involved has been amazing. It was a great experience and a highlight of our portfolio - not for bling and wow factor, but for the fact that it will bring smiles to kids who deserve it more than most of us will ever know. Thanks to all for the chance to be involved."


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