Public Health England (Change4Life)


Change4Life is one of Public Health England's flagship health campaign brands, encouraging and supporting parents and families to help improve the health of children across the country. Keeping children physically active is a key strand to the campaign, and Public Health England were the first national health body to use open opportunity data to improve the effectiveness and reach of their campaign.

the situation

  • Based on research and user testing, a key challenge for parents in keeping children active, especially during school holidays, was an awareness of suitable local activities and ease of accessing information about those activities.

  • PHE had an existing activity directory within the Change4Life webpages, but this was based on static data and often included information about venues and clubs, but no information about actual sessions that parents could bring their children to - when, where, suitability, age ranges, price etc.

  • With OpenActive’s momentum growing and its goals and ambitions clearly aligning with that of Change4Life, PHE sought a technical partner to enable them use open data within a new activity finder. In addition to this, PHE wanted an organisation to act as a liaison with OpenActive in order to ensure the significant influence of the Change4Life brand was used to help grow OpenActive as much as possible.

  • The Change4Life campaign had specific peaks of traffic, notably during the summer holidays, so any solution had to be scalable to handle high amounts of variable traffic, as well as scalable in terms of geographic coverage.

how we helped

  • imin initially supported a technical assessment and pitching session for potential activity finder partners, resulting in Played delivering a modern, custom activity finder for the Change4Life brand.

  • This activity finder integrated with the imin Search API, enabling PHE to access real-time opportunity data from across the country.

  • PHE required significant filtering of two broad types. The first was to ensure only sessions from "trusted" sources were delivered in the activity finder results, such as local authority leisure centres or ukactive affiliated organisations. The second type of filtering involved selective tagging, where imin analysed the total volume of open opportunity data available and wrote a series of tagging rules to ensure only family-friendly and child-friendly sessions appeared in the activity finder results.

  • PHE also required brand-specific imagery to be used, and so made use of imin's custom-image feature, using a library of PHE-approved images matched to activity categories.

  • Due to the nature of the campaign and the media spend involved, PHE benefited from imin's robust platform infrastructure, enabling the service to remain uninterrupted throughout the summer, handling several hundred searches a minute at peak usage.

  • For internal reporting purposes, imin also worked with PHE to deliver a set of custom reports to share with internal stakeholders, detailing the number of sessions, number of locations, increase over time etc.

what they said

"imin have smashed our expectations as a provider. They are both strategic and relentless in how they move projects forward. They are incredibly proactive in realising the potential of the project, and supportive in the maintenance of the product"

Strategy & Innovation Lead, Public Health England

"Badminton England has worked with imin for about two and a half years. In that time, they have always been extremely helpful and supportive of our ambitions with excellent client management, providing regular updates and clear useful advice. They are particularly strong on ensuring the customer journey and experience is as effective and simple as possible – their advice on the customer experience for our new activity finder (based on their own work and excellent understanding of the sector) has been invaluable in delivering a very clean design that makes finding activity and courts a really simple process for our users"

nick rimmer, head of development at badminton england

how can we help you?

we're dedicated to delivering innovative digital solutions that help people to be more active.

We believe that if we change the way we collaborate and share data in the physical activity sector, we can get more people more active and put an end to the rising global physical inactivity epidemic.

We aim to help all organisations to use digital solutions that help more people to be active. We're always happy to share our experiences and to help provide guidance where we can (even if you don't end up working with us!).

Get in touch today to talk through your project - a free 30 min consultation is available to any organisation looking for help.