The Challenge

The Challenge was founded in 2009 and is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society. We believe that our differences should be a source of strength, not a means to divide us. That is why we work to bring people together and to build trust across all ages, ethnicities and walks of life.

We live out our mission to bring people together regardless of background by delivering three programmes aimed at young people – NCS, HeadStart and Step Forward. Each brings people together from different backgrounds, giving them the experiences, confidence and networks to succeed.

NCS aims to bring together young people from all different backgrounds in a common purpose.

Offering new experiences, it gives them the chance to take on new challenges, learn new skills and meet new people. This helps them discover their own talents and realise their potential while having fun.

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Step Forward is our one-year apprenticeship programme for London school leavers.

Step Forward associates get a paid job for 12 months along with one day a week of free professional development training, support from a fully trained mentor, and friends and connections made for life.

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HeadStart is a chance for NCS graduates to continue their journey and give back to their local community through exciting volunteering opportunities.

When a young person volunteers for 16 hours or more, they are guaranteed an interview for a part-time job with a leading employer.

Find out more…

The Challenge Society

NCS Graduates

keep goingThe Challenge Society is an essential part of The Challenge’s role in its local communities. We work with tens of thousands of young people during the National Citizen Service programme, and The Challenge Society helps us to continue engaging graduates within their local and wider communities through volunteering and empowering them to make a difference. 

We also work with local and national businesses and professionals to help our graduates build on the skills they learnt on the programme and learn some new ones to help them develop personally and professionally. In the past we have delivered skills workshops, career events and organised work experience placements with our professional partners. 

If you are an NCS Graduate and looking to get involved with The Challenge Society check out the huge amount of opportunities we have available for you to be involved with in your local area! You can also get in touch via our social media pages or click here to get in touch!

Charity Partners

Brand_Asset_A_RGBThe Challenge works directly with  young people across Greater London, Surrey, Buckingham, Berkshire, the West Midlands, Manchester, Lancashire and Yorkshire. Across these regions we have thousands of engaged and motivated young people who want to be involved with volunteering opportunities, support your campaigns, and be part of your organisation.We focus on empowering young people to be leaders and make change.

What Can We Offer?

  • We are highly flexible and can target specific groups of young people to create bespoke and exciting opportunities and projects. We can partner with you for one-off events, fundraising or longer for a specific project or event.
  • We are highly adaptable and can work on a local level to suit the mission and goals of your organisation. You can also signpost opportunities to NCS graduates from other providers through the NCS Opportunities Hub!

opp hub

Business Partners

Brand_Asset_B_RGBWe focus locally and therefore we can specifically target the best ways to improve the lives of young people depending on where they are from and what their background is, and we want to be able to continue to do this for as long as those young people require our support. Most importantly our charity brings together local people; we do this across all generations, ethnic groups, and incomes to build a stronger society.


All activities delivered by The Challenge Society can be tailor-made and adapted to suit the needs and interests of your business and employees. Here are a few examples of projects you could support:

– Host a volunteer day where your employees can teach our young people a range of professional skills and help them succeed in their chosen career paths. In the past we have delivered workshops on CV writing, interview skills, mock assessments, personal finance and journalism.

– Provide funding to help our young people make a difference in their communities when campaigning about issues they feel passionate about. In the past we have had groups and individuals raise awareness of a huge range of issues from homelessness, domestic violence, breaking down stereotypes to bullying.

– Providing funding for specific events or a series of events in order to help young people to gain skills which they would not get in school from workshops such as: media, design, finance, architecture etc.

– Getting involved in a community volunteering day alongside a group of young people which we could organise within an area convenient for you, or with another organisation you feel passionate about. This could involve a gardening project, a community picnic or a sports day for example.

– Providing funding for the general running of The Challenge Society within London or a specific area of London. This would pay for events, staff time, campaigning resources etc.

The Challenge also delivers a successful school leavers apprenticeship programme called Step Forward, as well as an innovative volunteering programme which up-skills  and empowers those looking for work, called HeadStart

Submit an Opportunity

Are you looking for volunteers? Are you running an event that are graduates can be involved with? Can you offer a work experience placement or an internship to our young people? If you have an opportunity for our young people to be involved with do complete this short form and we will list it on our website! Alternatively if you want to discuss an opportunity further please do get in touch

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