Last year, Playwaze helped 52,000 children to get active through the Holiday Activities & Food Programme. In 2022, we want to use our digital HAF programme solution to help even more.
Over the last year, we’ve worked in collaboration with organisations delivering HAF programmes to create a digital solution that works for them. As the programme grows, it is becoming more and more important to provide an understandable digital system for parents and providers. Currently, parents are having to use multiple different systems as well as pen-and-paper admin to do something as simple as book their children onto holiday activities. This is an inefficient process that could be preventing children that are most in need of the HAF programme from benefitting from it. At Playwaze, it’s our vision to make it so that parents can book and manage all their children’s activities within one familiar and easy-to-use system.
What is the Holiday Activities and Food Programme?
The Holiday Activities and Food Programme is a government-funded programme which aims to decrease the holiday experience gap for children from disadvantaged families who are less likely to have access to organised out-of-school activities and are more likely to experience social isolation. It was piloted between 2018 and 2020 and last year it was rolled out to 120 local authorities. In 2022, that number is increasing to 152.
At Playwaze, we’ve created a fully comprehensive digital solution to make it easy for organisations to manage and deliver their HAF programmes. How did we get here? Throughout 2021, we worked in collaboration with multiple local authorities and active partnerships to craft our solution from the ground up.
The Story So Far
In February 2021, Playwaze partnered with the Hertfordshire Sports Partnership to deliver their region’s HAF programme. They wanted to make sure that parents and guardians with children eligible for free school meals could easily find and book holiday activities. Playwaze as a provider of search and book technology was approached to bring the programme to life digitally and deliver a search and book solution for the Easter holidays and beyond.
The beta solution was completed in time for the Easter launch and the programme saw more than 25 providers manage 55 multi-day holiday activities for which there were over 3,100 bookings and 18,000 unique searches were generated via the holiday activity finder.
Shelley Woods, Project and Marketing Officer at Herts Sports Partnerships
“Playwaze recognised the timescales HSP were working to and understand the landscape of Active Partnerships. Their ability to be agile with respect to issues that we experienced meant that we could communicate progress with partners in a language that everyone understood. The [solution] Playwaze supplied the project with is relatively intuitive to use – a significant plus is that the data is collated effectively, making monitoring and evaluation simpler.”
After the success of the Easter programme, Playwaze carried out a thorough debrief to produce feedback and identify how to create a fully fledged system for HAF management. We developed our platform and carried out onboarding for another four organisations: Active Cornwall, Northamptonshire Sport, Oxfordshire County Council, and Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP).
We wanted to put everything an activity provider might need to organise activities in one place – including a booking system, a payments solution (for non-free school meal places), reporting for their activities and a method for processing free school meals vouchers.
On the participation end, we also wanted to make it easier for parents and carers to find activities for their children. In order to do this, we created custom branded activity finders for each organisation which listed all the activities in their area. Each finder had filters so that parents could find exactly what they were looking for – including activities that were age-specific and suitable for disabilities. They could also use the filters to find activities happening on specific dates and within a certain distance.
The summer programme proved to be an incredible success. Across the five organisations involved, we engaged a total of 258 activity providers, making over 770 holiday activities available to be booked by parents of children eligible for free school meals. There were a total of 107,500 bookings and 400,000 searches on the activity finder and more than 52,000 individual children participated across the five county areas.
Check out the video below to see what Active Cornwall achieved through their summer programme using Playwaze:
In preparation for the winter programme, we implemented further improvements that made it easier for providers to organise their activities and for parents to manage their bookings.
We introduced the Activities Dashboard for providers to make it easy for them to see exactly who had made bookings for their activities and where there were still spaces available. We also streamlined the process of adding multiple activities in one go by implementing ‘block bookings’. To make things simpler for parents we introduced created a calendar that showed all of their upcoming bookings in a way that was easy to understand visually.
The winter programme, despite taking place on a smaller scale, returned some impressive numbers with 20,000 bookings for 1,500 activities. Overall Playwaze helped another 11,000 children to get active through attending holiday activities.
Watch the video to hear from Shelley Woods about her organisation’s experience working with Playwaze on HAF throughout 2021:
HAF x Playwaze in 2022
For 2022, we’ve made significant enhancements to our offering, bringing you a fully comprehensive off-the-shelf solution for running your HAF programme. With the experience gained from helping to coordinate three HAF programmes throughout the last year, we understand exactly what is required from a digital solution – for parents, for activity providers and for organisations.
How can Our Solution help your organisation?
For your organisation, we’ll set up a dedicated network within our system where you can see an overview of all your activity providers and the data from their activities so that everything you need for reporting is in one place.
We can even provide you with in-depth insights from your data with the Playwaze Analytics Dashboard which will show you real-time booking analytics including the number of unique participants, bookings, and cancellations you’ve had. You can also see a detailed breakdown of demographics, timeline tracking to help evaluate your marketing efforts, and heatmaps of booking locations.
For Providers – Organise, Manage and Report
We give providers everything they need to organise their activities. It’s easy for them to set up their activities and make them available to book, and they can even share and embed them on their own websites. They can then manage their bookings and see a full overview of everyone that’s attending their sessions as well as where they have spaces available through their Activities Dashboard.
Playwaze makes it easy for providers to collect booking data for monitoring and reporting purposes, and all booking registers can be exported as CSV files. We’ve also prioritised safety with GDPR-secure attendance tracking both in-app and online, including real-time reporting to delivery partner organisations.
For Parents – Search, Book and Manage
Playwaze provides parents with everything they need to find, book and attend activities. With our activity finders, they can search for particular types of activities within a certain range of dates and can specify whether they need to cater for disabilities. They can also see which activities are closest to them using the map view or see the entire range of what’s available using the list view.
They can create their own Playwaze accounts for free and this will give them full control over their bookings, allowing them to see all their upcoming bookings with a corresponding date, time and location and they can make cancellations if necessary. Parents can also connect multiple ‘linked accounts’ if they have more than one child so that everything they need is in one place.