Website URL : http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=12176

Book online to give kids a good time

A new online booking system allowing parents to reserve places for children's activity hubs has proven an instant success with nearly 1,500 bookings within the first three weeks.

The shared recreation and health team at Cherwell District and South Northamptonshire Councils launched the new online booking system on 24 June to give parents the option to reserve places online rather than only over the phone.

Since its launch a 1,456 places have been booked for Cherwell's weekday summer hubs in Banbury, Bicester and Bloxham, taster hubs in Kidlington and South Northamptonshire's weekday hubs in Northampton and Brackley.

Cllr George Reynolds, Cherwell's deputy leader, said: "Previously parents could only book by calling during weekday office hours. However for many parents, the reason they require the hubs in the first place is because they are busy at work during that timeframe so it made the booking process quite tricky for them. The great thing about the online booking system is that it puts parents back in control and gives them the flexibility to make a booking at a time that suits them

"In today's modern world more and more transactions are done online and it's important we keep up with demand. By launching this new booking system we are working hard to achieve our goal to ensure that parents, as well as their children, receive the best possible service from our hubs team."

Of the 1,456 reservations made to date, less than 12 were taken over the phone. All of the remaining bookings have been made online through the Eventbrite website and smartphone application.

The booking system will show day-by-day availability in real time and allow parents to reserve places up until 7am on the day to mitigate for last-minute childcare arrangements.

The hubs are open to children aged between five and 15 years old and provide a range of arts and crafts, sports and games plus a range of guest activities. The first sessions will commence from 24 July.

Cherwell's weekday hubs will take place at North Oxfordshire Academy in Banbury, Cooper School in Bicester and the Warriner School in Bloxham. There will also be taster sessions at the Table Tennis Pavilion in Kidlington on 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 August.

In South Northamptonshire the hubs will take place at the Caroline Chisholm School in Wootton Fields, Northampton and Magdalen College School in Brackley.

Full day sessions, from 8.45am to 5pm, cost £18.95 while the shorter session, 8.45am to 3pm, costs £14.95. Places are limited and must be booked in advance on a first-come-first-served basis. 

To book online visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/holidayactivities or to download the Eventbrite app visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/eventbriteapp. For enquiries call 01295 221803.

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