Parent and Child Activities Together

Location:
Vale of Glamorgan
Funding amount:
£5,851

Project description:

The project involved an ‘open call’ to activity providers to pilot activities which ere
1.     Parent and child activities together
Offering opportunities for parents / guardians to undertake leisure / fitness activities with their children together, thus strengthening family bonds and encouraging both generations to take up new activities.
2.     Parent and child activities side by side
Offering opportunities for children and parent / guardians to undertake activities separately but at the same time in the same location.  This would enable parents ‘dead time’ to be utilised and childcare barriers to be removed.

The Process
Call out to activity providers

There was an ‘open call’ to any activity providers from August to December 2017 inviting them to get involved with the project and deliver activities in the target communities.  Editorial and adverts were placed in the Gem as well as boosting posts on social media.

The call out invited service providers to decide whether they will to run potential activities with parents and children together or alongside each other where they may be doing different activities.

A total of 33 enquiries were received and 17 expression of interests were acknowledged by the deadline in December 2017.  Each expression of interest was scored. 

Each activity provider also had to provide an up to date DBS check, insurance documentation, references and any accreditations (if appropriate).

  • The expressions of interests were shortlisted to invite 11 activity providers to take part in the project.  All the activity providers were proposing to run parent and child activities together rather than alongside each other.
  • Setting up ‘Date Days’
  • There was a substantial amount of work involved in setting up a new initiative and co-ordinating the service providers.
  • Setting up on-line ticketing 
  • Quotes were received from two on-line ticketing companies, Ticketsource and Eventbrite, to see which would provide better value for money for the online booking service.
  • Developing the Service Provider Network
  • Each activity provider was notified that they had been selected to join the pilot project in December 2017 with the first Network meeting on Wednesday 24th January 2018.
  • Programme of activities

The programme of activities was organized to run from April 2018 to October 2018.  There were more fully funded activities taking part in the summer term with aim that if activities were popular, the activity providers would continue the activity during the pilot period, and take the income from the activity.

What Will The Project Achieve?

This project objective was to pilot a range of activities with Parent and children together which targets school aged children (aged 4 to 18 years) with their parents / grandparents / carers.  The project targeted activities in the 4 communities where community mapping had taken place; namely St Athan, Wenvoe, Rhoose and Ystradowen.

The Parent and Child Activities Together Project was funded under the ‘Evolving Communities’ Theme by helping to exploring new ways of delivering services, facilities, activities and networks.  The project was approved by the Local Action Group in May 2017.

The idea for the project came from the community mapping work, where the residents in the 4 pilot communities (St Athan, Wenvoe, Rhoose and Ystradowen) gave feedback about the lack of activities in rural areas both for children and adults.  Some parents felt that they could not get involved with activities because of their childcare constraints.  This project enabled parents to trial undertaking activities with their school-aged children together.  

The project offered an opportunity to pilot new ways of marketing what is going on in the community as lack of knowledge of what is going on in the local area was an issue which was raised through the community mapping project.

Who are the project beneficiaries?

Communities and families in four areas of The VoG.

What was the result of your project?  

There was a mixed take up of the activities on offer.  The activities which were one off were more popular than the activities requiring commitment over 6 weeks.
The Forest School activity was the most popular as this is an activity which is currently very in vogue and a slightly different offer which parents may not normally have the opportunity to do with their children.  
The total income received from Ticketsource for the activities was £1,209.10.

All customers were led to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website onto the Date Days page, which summarised all the activities.  From this page, there was a direct link to Ticketsource to book the activity. Further details were available on Ticketsource including times, dates, venues and costs.

Once a customer booked a place on an activity, they got confirmation from Ticketsource of the booking setting out booking reference number, booked by, booking summary (event, venue, date, section) and ticket price.  A reminder email of the booking was sent to the customer on the day of the activity.  Users could book activities online using any mobile device.  They could also download an eticket.

The service providers received a report of how many people had booked onto their activity.  At the end of the activity, a further email confirming how much money had been generated from ticketsales.

What’s next for your project?

The online booking system proved an effective way of organizing bookings.  The CRC officers have discussed the system the Vale of Glamorgan’s Adult Learning Team to explore whether they could use it for their bookings.

Although CRC will not be involved in any of the future activity provision, there is potential for community education to offer some parent and child activities as one off sessions.  Given their established branding and social media following, they may have a greater attendance.

What were the biggest challenges?

Take up of the activities
Those people taking part in the activities really enjoyed them, but take up was lower than expected.  This may be due to families having hectic schedules.  The activities may have been on the wrong evenings or times.  Parents may enjoy the down time when their kids are doing activities to have some time to themselves.

There was greater take up of activities, which were slightly different (eg. Forest School, Stained Glass and Circus Skills), to an activity a child may already be doing (eg. dance) or could do with the parent at home (cooking).  
The aim of the project was to provide a range of activities, which could become self-sustaining.  Although the price of activities were very reasonable, given parents are having to buy a parent and child ticket it may appear more expensive.  They may have enough money to support their children’s activities but would prefer not to do activities themselves.

Target area / age group of the activities
There may have been a greater take up if the activities had taken place in different communities in the rural Vale.  The activities may have proved more popular in Cowbridge and Llantwit Major where there is a larger catchment population.

Deciding on the target age of each activity was challenging.  It appeared that once children go to secondary school they are seeking independence from their parents so these activities were less suited to ages 11+.

Service providers
It was difficult to retain momentum with the service providers once activities did not get a good take up.  Nearly half of them had dropped out of their activities by the end of July due to low take up of activities. Additionally it was harder to get attendance at the Service Provider Networking Meetings.  Direct emails became the main means of communication with the service providers.

Online booking
The Ticketsource online booking system proved efficient and easy system for both the service providers and participants to use.  However given bookings links were made from the Date Days page on the Council’s website it was slightly more onerous for people than directing them straight to the booking page on Ticketsource.  This was done to enable all the activities to be jointly promoted.


 

Further project information:

Name:
Hannah Dineen
Telephone number:
01446 704226
Email project contact
Project website:
http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/working/Rural-Communities/Date-Days.aspx
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