News and opinion


Today we welcomed the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, to the National Citizen Service being delivered by The Challenge in Reading.

As Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson is the sponsor minister for the NCS in government. The Minister showed his support by visiting a ‘Showcase event’, in which participants talk about their experience on the programme and what they felt they gained from it.

This summer, NCS with The Challenge has hosted over 30 MPs - including the Prime Minister - and welcome the opportunity to promote the programme and its benefits to young people and their local communities first-hand.


The Challenge were delighted to host the Prime Minister today when he visited young people taking part in the National Citizen Service in Betws-y-Coed, North Wales.

Alongside TV personality Bear Grylls, David Cameron spent the day with participants on an NCS programme being delivered by The Challenge to see first-hand the benefits of the social mixing and skill development programme.


In March 2015, the Social Integration Commission released its final report Kingdom United? Thirteen steps to tackle social segregation.

This report builds on previous research into levels of segregation in the UK and makes a series of practical recommendations for schools, businesses, civil society organisations, government, and individuals to act upon in order to create a more integrated and cohesive society.

Kingdom United? has received substantial coverage on television and radio:

  • The Today programme interviewed the Social Integration Commission's Chair, Matthew Taylor, on Monday March 9.
  • The Challenge's Strategy and Development Director, Jon Yates appeared on 5Live's Breakfast Show and BBC Wiltshire.
  • The Challenge's Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Mark Rusling, was interviewed by BBC Merseyside.
  • A recent episode of BBC Radio 4's Moral Maze focused on the report. Guests including Giles Fraser, Melanie Philips and Michael Portillo explored the question 'Do we as individuals have a moral duty to mix socially with people who are different from us?'

The report has also been covered my a number of national publications including broadsheet newspapers:

  • The Independent and Inside Housing covered the Commission's call for the abolition of 'poor doors'.
  • The Telegraph highlighted the Commission's proposal for faith school reform in addition to a number of other recommendations.
  • Commission's Chair, Matthew Taylor, summarised the Commission's findings on the New Statesman's 'The Staggers' blog.
  • Kingdom United was discussed in both The Observer and The Guardian blogs.
  • The Report was referenced in a Daily Mail article on race by Trevor Phillips.