Technological Children’s Centres

A high definition screen in reception at Hornsey RoadWe have recently enjoyed being commissioned by Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in Islington to supply and fit their new IT suite and display screens.

The Team at Family Action were successful in raising funds to purchase from us a suite of new laptops, with an innovative mobile trolley to store and automatically charge them overnight, to add to the facilities in the training room and across the Centre.

Our installation team, led by our Technical Manager Doug Hopkins, also installed a new Promethean display board – allowing tutors in the Centre not only to access the screen with their own laptops, but to join the network with learners and to use the integrated interactive Active Classroom/Inspire learning and teaching suite that we installed on the Centre system too.

Doug also successfully installed a large, high definition screen in the Centre reception area, for which the creative team at Thirdsectorweb, using their design and graphics skills, now supply regularly updated DVD’s which play the Centre timetable and feature activities for all to see.

Sue Martin, a partner at SmithMartin said…

We think display for Centre visitors, that is current, timely and visually pleasing is a really important way to engage and inform people. Our solution, to install a simple DVD player is very, very cost effective and means that staff and volunteers have no complex learning to undertake in order to make our system work.

We use our economies of scale for graphics creation and DVD supply, which is complimentary for the Center with their installation, meaning there is no ongoing cost to the charity for our service. An important consideration in times of tight budgets.

The professional team at Hornsey Road were great to work with on the project, running a very successful Centre with a comprehensive, inclusive and supportive range of activities to support their care of children in the catchment.

If we can help improve your display, IT deployment or web information – then contact SmithMartin LLP for a chat, just to see what’s needed. We are always happy to talk to you.

Sydney Opera House

A visit to Sydney Opera House

On a recent visit to Sydney Opera House we had a tour of the inside, listened to stories about the building and how it all works.

It was a great example of work and leisure coming together.

It’s always good to have a balance between work and leisure and sometimes the boundaries are pretty blurred. As a partnership we like to work to be enjoyed. Sydney Opera House is a good example.

This iconic building, known the world over, started with a project from Sydney for a new building on a partially derelict site on the peninsula near Circular Quay.

From the vast numbers of people applying, Jorn Utzon  was chosen because the Finnish judge saw the potential of this dreamy vision of the shell type structure. To plan and design this revolutionary building needed a decision maker and a brave personality.

Jorn Utzon liked to work on the ‘edge of the possible’.

The cost of the building was estimated way below the eventual cost of over £120 million dollars in the 1960’s . Sydney Council raised all of the money through a lottery and the building was paid for in 18 months.

The structure proved hard to produce initially. One night Utzon phoned his colleague with the answer. The solution was a spherical model, of which all the shells would be a part.

Sadly for Utzon a change of government meant that he was asked to work with a committee. He was not prepared to do this and so left the finishing of the building to another team.

Interior, looking out picture - Sydney Opera House

The inside spaces of the building, the foyers and the concert halls are stunning, the organisation is entrepreneurial too and involves the artists and performers in their own organisation and marketing.

Performers can buy a certain length of time and number of performances, for which they operate the costs themselves or sell merchandise and promote as they wish.The price of tickets is arranged by the performer.

In effect Sydney Opera House offers the venue and leaves the rest to the enterprise of the artist.

They also charge rents to other organisations who operate the utilites and retail outlets. As yet they cover 80% of their costs,with 20% coming from state funding.

A good model of enterprise and sustainablity!

An iconic building for a beautiful city, Australian enterprise for a world audience,work and leisure hand in hand.

As they say so often down under, ‘ No worries!’

Roof structures at Sydney Opera House

Sue Martin – SmithMartin Partnership LLP – Enterprise and creativity