StreetGames are a charity who harness the power of sport to create positive change in the lives of disadvantaged young people across the UK. In spring 2020, they were appointed to provide the Department of Education’s (DfE) Holiday activities and Food Programme – also known as HAF.
The school holidays place a lot of pressure on some families due to increased costs such as food and childcare – leaving many children unable to attend organised activities or access nutritionally balanced meals. This is particularly the case for children from disadvantaged families, who are more likely to experience social isolation as a result.
The HAF programme was introduced to practically address this issue, and has been providing healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018. It is a holiday provision aimed at children and young people who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals.
The HAF programme in Birmingham is one of the largest in the country, with 32,240 children aged between 5 – 16 attending holiday clubs throughout the summer period.
With over 278 different holiday club providers and 365,000 free meals given out, the primary challenge was finding a central booking platform that could effectively handle, and was suitable for, the substantial number of providers and attendees across the city.
Providers were based all over the city, and all required or used different systems. As a result, the Birmingham HAF organisation were keen to establish a central booking system that could enable all providers and parents to quickly and easily use it to book activities.
The size of the programme also meant that collecting and collating the data needed to provide the necessary figures back to government was incredibly difficult – so a platform that could do this automatically would be highly beneficial.
After looking at several central booking systems in Spring, StreetGames decided on Coordinate Sport for the HAF programme as it made easy reporting possible and provided the best functionality for use in holiday clubs.
Given our extensive experience coordinating sports and other activities for a diverse range of clients, we knew the value and importance of having a central booking system was user-friendly and suitable for all parties involved. This was echoed in the requirements of this client, who wanted a flexible platform that made it easy for providers to upload information.
After speaking with the Birmingham HAF providers directly and taking into account their main needs, we successfully integrated our technology into the programme – helping them effectively and smoothly run the HAF programme.
Our platform was a huge successful and the client was happy with the solutions it provided. The streamlined and user-friendly nature of our software has prompted an increase in the uptake of providers who wanted to try a central booking system.
Following this success, the organisation plan on using Coordinate Sport for their future HAF programmes to ensure that there are enough resources available for the children and families who need them most.