Project information

Big Screen Therapy for Sick Children

By distracting them from their painful situations, our aim is to enrich the often significantly restricted quality of life of children who are in hospital by providing free of charge screenings of current movie releases in an on-site cinema with access for beds and wheelchairs.

January 2015 - December 2015

Charity information


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  • Need


    There are few escapes from the concerns and isolation felt by hospital patients during long stays or for those with long-term disabilities. For some, the distraction of TV and films is available on small bedside screens, but at an additional fee. Furthermore, children often have exaggerated feelings of stress, anxiety and boredom and more restless energy than adult patients – for them, the real or perceived restrictions imposed by the hospital ward on top of their symptoms can be overwhelming.


    The change in environment, the experience of being absorbed in the film and the cinema’s atmosphere are beneficial to patients alienated from everyday activities whilst in the hospital. A 2005 evaluation found MediCinema attendees forget their medical worries for a time, reducing their stress, discomfort and pain. This is especially true for children. Callum, a young Glasgow patient, told us: “I am back in again, this is the 17th time this year. At least I have MediCinema to look forward to.”

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To send a minimum of 8400 children to attend MediCinema screenings at our four locations.


    » We will provide at least 7 child-friendly screenings a week for 40 weeks in 2015 with an average of 30 children at each screening.

    Success will be an average of 30 children attending each MediCinema screening (their health and well-being permitting).

    Aim 2

    To provide equal access to all patients, including those in beds and wheelchairs.


    » Each MediCinema is designed to also accommodate beds or wheelchairs and 2 nurses are on duty throughout each performance to respond to any emergency.

    Success will be ensuring that patients are not restricted by their beds or wheelchairs to attend a MediCinema screening.

  • Impact


    Many of these children receive treatment regularly, rarely having the opportunity to go to the cinema with their families. Screenings at MediCinema can give good memories and quality of life experiences as the children do what so many of us take for granted – to be safely carried away by the magic of the big screen – escaping from the stress of their conditions. Our screenings are monitored, with the audience tracked on an ongoing basis to compile statistical information on those in attendance.


    The only risk is in not raising sufficient funds over the course of the year to maintain our scheduled screenings at each location. Whilst we receive some of our funding through gifts-in-kind (i.e. film rental, location rental and utilities/bills) we look to voluntary donations to cover our remaining costs. We will fund-raise from a variety of sources to ensure that we can continue providing 7 children’s screenings at our four locations.


    We can provide regular updates (reports or through our website) detailing ongoing and forthcoming activities as well as any necessary changes that have been made to the screening schedule. Reports on individual patients in attendance will not be available under data-protection rules.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,160

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,880 London MediCinema (1 screening/week x 40 weeks) x 30 children @£2.40 ea
      £5,760 Glasgow MediCinema (2 screenings/week x 40 weeks) x 30 children @£2.40 ea
      £2,880 Newcastle MediCinema (1 screening/week x 40 weeks) x 30 children @£2.40 ea
      £8,640 Newport MediCinema (3 screenings/week x 40 weeks) x 30 children @£2.40 ea
  • Background


    MediCinema will be providing children’s screenings in 4 locations in 2015 – London’s Evelina/St. Thomas’ Hospital , Glasgow's Yorkhill Hospital , Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and Newport’s Serennu Children’s Centre . The hospitals are in large cities with patients from varied socio-economic backgrounds. The Serennu Children’s Centre serves a number of high deprivation areas in Wales, primarily catering for health care needs of disabled children in these areas.


    Children who are patients and their families (and other visitors) will be able to attend the regularly scheduled screenings in the above listed hospitals. In addition to an escape from their symptoms for the patient, the screenings provide an opportunity for family and friends to participate in activities together or a necessary respite for family members when they are required to spend long periods of time at their child’s bedside.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MediCinema is the only charity in the world that provides a service of this kind. We are an independent charity that neither seeks nor receives NHS funding for our state-of-the-art cinemas with surround sound, tiered seating and big screens tailored to each location. We provide our screenings free to patients, their families and carers – with equal access for all patients including those in beds and wheelchairs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    MediCinema Managers

    The Manager is integral to ensuring the day-to-day operation of the MediCinema happens smoothly, promoting screenings, managing volunteers and nurses.