Hello! I'm Kelly Hewitt from Community Action Network

Hello everyone - I’m Kelly from Community Action Network (Infrastructure Charity), leading on a project funded by NHS Dorset to demonstrate the effectiveness of adopting ORUK using the Service Finder that has been developed by Digital Co-Production @Ian-DigitalGaps . This is an 18-month pilot project and we hope to receive additional funding to continue this valuable work beyond September 2024.

After reading some TPX Impact work I would love to hear from others about how they engaged with external stakeholders with an existing directory in order to bring them onboard with utilising a shared data set.


It’s good to hear from you @kellyhewitt8

@alex.sturtivant may have some input from his experience with a selection of councils looking at adopting the Standard.

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Can you share details?

I am in the physical activity world and lobbying for more alignment with social prescribing.
Pushing for organisation finders as well as live activity finders, and broadening into creative and community activities not just physic activity.

Hi Julz,

We are actually working with Active Dorset (who use OpenActive) who are piloting Playwaze for their activity finder and we hope to align our data with one another. One of the tactics we have used is establish organisation finders and the current resource they are using to maintain their data, and use this as leverage that their staff time would be saved by getting on board with ORUK.

On the technical side, we generally suggest that OpenActive data feeds be transformed to the Open Referral UK (ORUK) format and then merged/aggregated with native ORUK feeds.

There are some existing transformations from OpenActive including the live Open Sessions feed on the Dashboard.

I don’t yet know of a live/commercial aggregator though someone else might. A few people have worked on these but none has yet posted her (I think).

Brilliant Kelly. (been relaunching website).
Playwaze, like Sportsuite incorporates both activity and organisation searches - its a great solution!

Does ORUK have a finder I can have a look at?

Ta Mike, having 2 standards certainly seems untenable.

Have we decided who is Betamax and who is VHS? :smiley:

Is there scope for merging? Openactive has a list https://status.openactive.io

If there is an API solution that can can translate between the two might work.
We have been speaking too Dave from Nautoguide who seems to have some great tech solutions https://nautoguide.com

Hey @Julz good to hear from you again. As we discussed over in this thread, these are different standards that are designed for different purposes – and there is some overlap between those purposes, so it does make sense to be able to transform data from one to the other (which it sounds like is happening). But there are many kinds of information about social services that OpenActive shouldn’t be expected to specify, and likewise kinds of information about physical activities that Open Referral shouldn’t expect to specify, because they’re largely separate domains with distinct needs, despite the aforementioned overlap.

It would be great to learn more about emerging integrations between OpenActive and Open Referral UK. Meanwhile, you can check out tools developed in the UK network here.

Hope this helps.

And hi @kellyhewitt8 , welcome! Eager to hear how your work goes :slight_smile:


Hi Julz,

Kelly is using the Digital Coproduction ORUK finder. We are developing it with Lancashire ICB and have Dorset CAN on an early adopter deal.

I’m happy to show you what we have as an aggregator, citizen service finder and professional service finder.

We also did some reports with the ODI that looked at OR and OA in social prescribing. The reports are here.

We drew our own conclusions about how they can co-exist but have not yet implemented a coexistence. As a quick example OR is more about telling you that a badminton activity exists and pointing you to a booking system. That booking system is likely to use OA.

Also happy to explain how we ended up with Open Active and Open Referral when the LGA were the first to start the directory service data standard in 2015. Open referral UK only came about in 2019 simply because several public sector players backed the America OR version rather than the LGA data standard. Basically most organisations want to do it their own way and hence there are so many standards to choose from.

Hi Kelly
Hopefully we can make the plan work to drive wider engagement locally.

As discussed I think the links with churches and faith groups generally are important examples of the benefit of adopting the standard. Churches tend to not be involved in CVFSE arrangements and yet some of them have a very rich set of support that is not very visible.
Looking forward to getting the White Paper completed with you and will share with others on the Community.