News

Summer 2021 HAF Programme – Case Study

Playwaze has been collaborating with four Active Partnerships and one County Council to digitally support the management of their Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) programmes for Summer 2021. The Department for Education’s HAF programme is aimed at decreasing 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. 

Easter 2021 HAF Programme

At Easter, Playwaze collaborated with Herts Sports Partnership to support delivery of their Easter HAF Programme. Over 25 providers managed 55 multi-day holiday activities for which there were over 3,000 bookings and 18,000 unique searches via their activity finder. The learnings from this project were important for ensuring that the Summer HAF programme was a success. 


Using feedback from the Hertfordshire Sports Partnership and using our own analysis, we identified three main improvements to make to our platform’s solution:

  1. Bundles and add-ons
  • We added the capability for providers to offer ‘bundles’ which allow participants to book multiple activities together at a reduced price. We also introduced ‘add-ons’ which allowed providers to offer extra items along with bookings such as equipment needed for children to participate – for example, a tennis session might be booked with a tennis racket add-on.
  1. Improved confirmation of booking
  • We improved our confirmation emails to include all the information a parent would need to make it easier to organise and keep track of their bookings. This helped to avoid parents missing their booked sessions and improve levels of attendance for providers.
  1. Registers and ‘open & close bookings’
  • Registers were built to ensure providers had a better overview of their bookings and who was attending each of their sessions. We also added the functionality for providers to set specific dates and times for their activities to be available to book with an ‘open’ and ‘close’ date – meaning they could set cut-off times and have greater control over their bookings.

Summer 2021 HAF Programme

After the success of Herts Sports Partnership’s Easter programme, four more organisations opted for Playwaze as their management system for the Summer HAF programme: Active Cornwall, Northamptonshire Sport, Oxfordshire County Council, and Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP).

Our platform puts everything activity providers need to provide HAF activities in one place – 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

Playwaze also makes it easier for parents and carers to find activities for their children. We created custom branded activity finders for each organisation which listed all the activities in their area. Parents used these activities finders to see what was available near them. Each finder had filters so that parents could search for activities by age suitability and type of activity. They could also use the filters to find activities happening on specific dates and within a certain distance. The filters also allowed them to find activities that provided for children with disabilities.

Summer Success in Numbers

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.

The Future of the Playwaze HAF Solution

The success of the HAF programme so far this year looks set to continue with the Winter 2021 HAF Programme just around the corner. Learning from the experience of the Easter and summer programmes we have determined 5 key ways in which we can enhance our technology to make Playwaze an even more effective solution for providing HAF activities:

  1. Improving the onboarding experience for providers.
  2. Making it easier for both parents and providers to see and cancel their bookings.
  3. Introducing the ability to block book a series of activities.
  4. Making the contact details of activity providers more easily accessible.
  5. Adding email notifications and alerts of upcoming bookings

Want to use Playwaze for your HAF Programme?

Whether you are a commissioned partner responsible for delivery of a HAF programme, or a national, regional, or local provider of holiday activities, Playwaze can provide you with a holiday activity search tool using our unique Finder builder technology. Activity Finders that are #PoweredByPlaywaze make it simple for your participants – and their parents – to find what they are looking for with easy-to-use search filters. They can be customised with your organisation’s branding and embedded into your existing website or we can provide fully hosted website can be provided, either way making the booking process straightforward.

Click here to find out more about using Playwaze for your HAF programme.

A collaboration that empowers children and young people to find their way to play.

Playwaze and the Youth Sport Trust are teaming up to connect children and schools to the sport and activity opportunities in their local communities.

We believe that every child and young person should be able to discover sport and activity that’s right for them – whoever they are, wherever they are, and whatever their abilities and interests. We know schools are a core part of a young person’s journey into an active life, and we want to offer greater opportunities to connect schools and young people with local sport and activity.

Today Playwaze and the Youth Sport Trust are proud to announce a game-changing digital partnership.

Charlie Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer at Playwaze:

“The ambition of this partnership is to support young people, parents, and schools by increasing the visibility and accessibility of sport and activity in their local communities.

We believe schools can act as a digital hub for local community activity, where parents and young people can use their school’s website to find out what activities are available to them in their local area.

We want to support schools in connecting parents and young people with providers and activities after school, at the weekends, and during the school holidays to help them lead happy and healthy lives. We are really excited to be teaming up with the Youth Sport Trust to make this a reality!”

Jenny Rouse, Youth Sport Trust Head of Business Development said:

“Youth Sport Trust is delighted to have Playwaze on board as a new commercial partner. Their innovative approach to helping schools signpost to after school and community clubs will ensure that parents and young people are able to access all the activities in their area, helping them to stay active and make those all-important social connections.”

Tim Hill – OpenActive Project Manager said:

“The purpose of the Open Data Institute’s involvement with OpenActive is to make sport and physical activity more digitally accessible by lowering barriers to data-sharing in the sector. It’s great to see Playwaze, a leading member of the OpenActive community, help to make this vision a reality with this partnership. We’re excited to see how the sector responds and the impact it will have.”

We are inviting sector stakeholders involved in the delivery and provision of sport and activity to children and young people to an online session where we will outline the ambitions for this partnership and how the sector can collaborate with us.

For more information on this partnership for schools and sector stakeholders, click below.

Playwaze X Street Games: Digitising Sport for Young People in Disadvantaged Communities

How StreetGames are using the Playwaze platform to make ‘doorstep sport’ more accessible for young people in disadvantaged communities.

Street Games uses sport to create positive change in the lives of young people across the UK. By providing sport and activity in disadvantaged areas, they help to make young people and their communities healthier, safer and more successful. Playwaze – the leading digital grassroots sport platform – has been working with Street Games to digitise sport and increase participation amongst young people in these areas

The Problems:

  • Young people (and agencies that support them) don’t know where to go online to find local opportunities in their area.
  • There is a false idea that there is nothing for young people to do because the information about opportunities is hard to find.
  • Funding has been spent on ‘Local Area Mapping’ (what is this) in the past but it has failed because organisations could not see a clear benefit or incentive. There needs to be a buy-in for this to work.
  • LTOs (locally trusted organisations) still use pen and paper registrations – they then have to spend hours transferring this data to an online format.
  • Due to the pandemic, LTOs need to track and trace their participants and sometimes need to limit capacity. This is an issue when delivering ‘turn up and play’ sessions.

The Objectives:

  • Digitalise ‘doorstep sport’.
  • Solve the issues caused by old systems and pen-and-paper forms.
  • Help LTOs to be more open to new participants.
  • Allow LTOs to be more efficient with their time.

The Solution:

StreetGames are piloting a new digital system in partnership with Playwaze.

Playwaze is granting exclusive free access to StreetGames members in their London and South East network. The pilot is being trialled in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets and there are currently still spaces available for LTOs in these areas.

20 LTOs are being given full access to Playwaze’ premium features to help them take bookings, manage their activities and communicate with their participants. The platform also allows LTOs to take their registration process online, making it easy for people to sign up whilst also reducing admin caused by pen and paper sign-up forms.

Playwaze also uses the power of Open Data to make it even easier for young people and parents to find activities and sport. Just by checking a box, LTOs can promote their activities through online local activity finders as well as the StreetGames website.

LTOs are also able to gamify the experience of getting involved in their activities by implementing a reward points system. This incentivises young people by giving them points for attendance which can later be redeemed for rewards and prizes.

By engaging their audience digitally, the Playwaze platform will also help the LTOs streamline their engagement and capture data, leading to more efficient and effective analysis on participation rates.

Keep up to date with Playwaze for Schools by signing up to our mailing list. We’ll send you featured activities and new opportunities in your area as they appear on our activity finder.