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Children of RAF families connect with peers through new online platform

After being awarded the contract to deliver the RAF Benevolent Fund’s flagship Airplay programme, One YMCA sought to innovate with a brand new online platform.

Est. weekly time saved


Young people in RAF families are often moving homes, meaning it can be difficult to make and keep friends. Airplay is the RAF Benevolent Fund’s flagship youth support programme for RAF families, and is designed to address this issue.

After being awarded the contract to deliver the programme, One YMCA had ambitions to build on the existing face to face offering and add value by utilising digital channels.

They understood the importance of creating something that would be quickly adopted and see ongoing engagement, both by the young audience and also the 25 Station Youth Workers who would be using the platform to help run the programme.


From the outset we wanted to learn as much as we could about the challenge in the time available.

First, we spoke to key stakeholders to establish their vision for the platform, and identify any specific requirements.

During the design process, we produced a survey to be distributed to young people and parents involved in the programme, in order to get their feedback.

We encouraged One YMCA to deeply link the platform with their Salesforce CRM, and worked with their Salesforce partner to avoid duplication of sensitive data and enable specific segmenting and targeting based on user behaviour within the platform.

Our original ideas evolved as a result of stakeholder, user and partner feedback, with the end result capturing the look and feel of the multiple strict brand guidelines involved.


One YMCA gained valuable insight into the young people using the Airplay programme, which informed tangible parts of the final project delivered, from the choice of imagery to the features of the platform.

As a result of the project RAF children have always-on access to a wide variety of events, updates and support offered, and the programme overall has increased perceived value among stakeholders, users and parents.

The platform enables station youth workers to login and manage their own station page with events, resources and activities, giving them more ways to engage young people on the programm.

Through automated CRM integrations and self-service functionality, core admin time at One YMCA has been reduced significantly.

13 hours

Estimated weekly admin time saved across a team


Surveyed young people agreed the site was well designed


Surveyed young people agreed the site was easy to navigate (23% were neutral)

When we started the development of Airplay Connect it was an idea in it’s infancy. Tom and his team have helped to bring Airplay Connect to life and make it a reality.

Huddle supported us to understand what was possible and find technical and design solutions that were simple and within our budget.

As a new, evolving product there have been times that the goalposts and priorities have changed, but the team at Huddle have been flexible, constructive and solution focussed.

Tom Cavalot, Head of Airplay – One YMCA

Next steps

After a 3-month period of learnings and observations, One YMCA followed up the initial project with a 6 month development retainer to further develop and adapt the platform to ongoing user feedback and programme goals.