Our mission

The Challenge is the UK's leading charity for building a more integrated society.

We work on a local level to bring together people from all ages, ethnicities and walks of life, connecting communities and building trust.

The UK is becoming much more diverse. Over the coming decades, the country is projected to become the most ethnically diverse western nation; at the same time the proportion of the population aged under 18 or over 60 is expected to grow rapidly, increasing the average distance in age between citizens. We are also increasingly segregated by income; for example half of all the children in primary and nursery schools in England who are eligible for free school meals are concentrated in a fifth of the schools. As our country becomes more diverse, we believe it is critical that people come together and build stronger connections between one another and between communities.

Launched in 2009, The Challenge is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, a society in which there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others. In 2009, approximately 160 young people participated in our programmes; in 2015 we reached circa 34,000 participants. Our three programmes are NCS, HeadStart and Step Forward.


More than 200,000 young people have already taken part inour programmes




YouTube Watch our impact video

“Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed the whole experience as it exceeded my expectations. Since completion of this course I have made many good friends and miss the whole experience and wish I could do the whole thing over again.”

NCS participant

 “All the volunteers were very enthusiastic and worked really well I found that most of them seemed quite apprehensive on their first day, however the change in them after just a couple of hours was immense. Their fear had gone, confidence was building and they were having fun!”

Gina, HeadStart charity partner, Enfield Stars

"We took on an apprentice through Step Forward in September last year and to date our experience has been nothing short of amazing. We regularly benefit from Yusuf's new ideas and skills. Having an apprentice has not only been an eye opener but also a great success and one I would strongly recommend to anyone."

Ross McMurray, Step Forward employer, Axis Communications