Maximising our reach through partnership working

by Sharon Bartholomew, HAF Partnership Officer

Oct 16 2023

children playing parachute game

In Hampshire, our 11 districts each have an active Local Children’s Partnership (LCP – non-statutory organisation representing local communities, comprising statutory, non-statutory and voluntary organisations, supporting delivery of the Children and Young People’s Plan)

Hampshire County Council has awarded our LCPs a development grant with HAF being one of its priorities, so the LCPs work closely with us, supporting with promotion, commissioning, and evaluation.  

As each LCP has a strong understanding of its communities, we have turned to them to help fill gaps in our provision. A commissioning pot of funding was set-aside to support the process, allowing additional summer places or schemes to be provided in identified priority areas – either by topping up places at current schemes or commissioning new provision at new locations.  

To get to this point, we presented each LCP with district level data, including FSM numbers, a map of deprivation levels and a list of the commissioned HAF schemes that would be running in the summer holidays.  We then got together to scrutinise the data and asked them to identify areas that were not reaching HAF eligible families.  Suggestions included geographical areas, and also cohorts such as more provision for teenagers.  In some cases the provision was where it needed to be, so the funding could then go towards increasing places at schemes already commissioned. In addition, LCPs were also able to help identify new activity providers to fill the gaps for a spot-purchasing approach.

We then applied the budget to fill those identified priority areas for the summer holiday. By completing this process by May, we were able to ensure that additional provision was in place in time for the summer – and we plan to repeat this process to gap-fill for the Christmas holidays.

The valuable insights gained from this process will also be useful to inform future commissioning so we can identify priority areas in each district and encourage applications for these areas, which in turn can be promoted through the LCPs. By having LCPs involved in commissioning and gap-filling, we ensure that the provision continues to reach those who need it most.