Caerphilly Council feeds children in need rapidly with help from a digital workforce

9th May 2023

Key results
  • Rapid response: Applications processed in minutes rather than days
  • 5,000 applications processed annually
  • Scalability: Digital workers handle peaks in demand without delay

Caerphilly County Borough in Wales, UK, is home to approximately 180,000 people. One initiative of Caerphilly Council is devoted to feeding the children among them, with a goal to provide a nutritious lunch to every child in need, every day. Delivering the food has always been a logistical challenge, and Covid only complicated matters. As schools closed, or as children had to isolate, the Council needed to track each lunch drop-off location. How did they do it? Caerphilly put digital workers on the job.


Caerphilly Council is responsible for many services provided to the residents in Caerphilly County Borough. Its lunch program focuses on the wellbeing of children in need. To apply for the program, parents and caregivers contact the Council directly, usually over the phone. The catering department was fielding these calls, collecting relevant information, and recording the request, which took time away from the preparation and delivery of food to families.

In any given year, the Council might receive 5,000 applications. But when Covid hit, not only did the number of requests increase, the locations of children became far less predictable. Without warning, a school could close or a child could be required to isolate. To ensure that every child received lunch, the Council needed a more efficient way to receive and process the applications.


Despite the significant challenges brought on by COVID-19, Caerphilly Council was determined to continue giving all of its children access to a healthy lunch plus a food bundle with additional milk, bread, fruits and vegetables. Working closely with partner, Davies, the Council deployed Blue Prism intelligent automation. Rather than directing parents and caregivers to a call center, the Council used Blue Prism digital workers to automate the application process. Now, applicants complete an online form that’s sent directly to the catering team, and processing time has been reduced from several days to just a few minutes.

The Council’s catering department is no longer fielding a constant stream of lunch requests. Since digital workers process applications, catering staff can execute the frontline delivery services they enjoy. The teamwork between Council staff and Blue Prism digital workers ensures food is delivered to every child in need without delay.

“Not only has intelligent automation improved the process, but it has also sped up the ability to get food to families, and taken the burden off staff.”

Jason Miles

Program Manager

Caerphilly Council

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