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.