From sports pitches to parks, this global pandemic has highlighted how integral exercise and the outdoors is for our mental and physical health. Many people have sorely missed the grassroots sports teams that are a beating heart of our communities.
At Kajima Community, we have been involved in a number of exciting projects helping to activate new lettings or supporting facilities to reopen safely – and the work of our team for Fleet AGP is a perfect example of this.
Our BookingsGuru Coordinator, Christina Daniels, discusses our most recent partnership with Camden Council, how we initiated the set up of our service and how we are delivering a successful lettings programme, despite the COVID pandemic:
The BookingsGuru solution
In September this year, Camden Council invited our Kajima Community team to submit a proposal for overseeing the management of their artificial grass pitch (AGP) in Hampstead. Adjacent to Fleet Primary School, the facility is owned and managed by the Council, with whom we have worked closely over a number of years to provide a successful full-managed lettings service at the nearby Haverstock School.
Our proposal outlined how we could help Camden Council to generate additional bookings of the pitch and widen its use by the local community and groups.
We knew that our BookingsGuru service would be the perfect partner for their facility, offering a fully managed lettings solution including customer service, generating new enquiries and marketing the venue, managing bookings, amends and cancellations, as well as raising invoices on behalf of Camden City Council and collecting payments into their account. In addition to this, Kajima Community would provide overseeing site staff to manage the safe use of the venue.
As lettings experts, our team were able to use their knowledge to quickly mobilise and open the facility within a three-week period, with group activities commencing from early November following a period since March this year in which the venue had been closed.
Firstly, our team first set up our in-house lettings software platform, BookingsPlus, which is also available to schools and community venues to use as their own in-house lettings solution.
All pre-registered users were informed of the new process for hiring the AGP, and our Guru team checked documents including Public Liability Insurance, qualifications and DBS certificates for all organisations using the pitch. We also implemented a roster of new safety procedures, such as asking hirers to provide a Covid-19 risk assessment, follow our updated T&Cs and implement our Covid-specific code of conduct, which includes provisions around track and trace, wearing of face coverings and appropriate use of hand sanitiser.
Thirdly, we created an operating manual for site staff to follow, which covers everything from opening and locking up procedures, to gritting, waste disposal and escalation processes and we also ensured rigorous training was provided on our robust Covid-19 cleaning protocol.
We are also regularly updating Fleet AGP’s community website, which is attached to the BookingsPlus system, promoting their facilities both through the website and social media.
A satisfied venue and happy community
We couldn’t be happier with the responses from our client, Camden City Council, and the local community.
The Sport & Physical Activity Team at The London Borough of Camden were delighted to engage with Kajima Community in order to get the AGP facility up and running. They commented that: “From the start, the whole Kajima team had a professional approach and it was clear that they were very experienced, with a clear, professional knowledge of what is required in order to deliver and manage lettings successfully.
“The pandemic had such an impact on our users, so we were keen to mobilise as quickly as possible. Kajima Community ensured that processes and procedures were implemented swiftly and that we were able to reopen for lettings in just a matter of weeks. Although we only managed to accommodate our groups for a short period before the 2nd lockdown was announced we have now restarted the lettings, safely and with confidence thanks to Kajima Community.”
Charlie Hyman, CEO or Bloombury Football Club and regular hirer of the facility commented: “Kajima Community have been a great facilitator in helping us to return to Fleet AGP on a staggered basis. For instance, they understand the difficulties of organising a return to bookings so do not give away slots when clients are unsure of plans, instead allowing them to return in phases. We use the Fleet AGP six hours a week and getting back into training has been pretty seamless.
The bookings platform, BookingsPlus, has also been easy to use and communications are very responsive, with organised tickets for customer enquiries and feedback. The invoicing system and online bookings platform are effective, meaning you can check, cancel and make amends very easily. I have personally found this very useful as it gives clarity when managing multiple venues and we hope to book further venues with Kajima’s BookingsGuru service going forward.”
If you would like to find out more about how our amazing BookingsGuru team or BookingsPlus software could make a difference for your venue, helping you to (re)activate your lettings business safely and with confidence, get in touch today on 01604 677 764.