In April 2009, five employees and a handful of volunteers founded The Challenge. They were concerned that, as Britain becomes more diverse by income, age and ethnicity, it becomes more important that different groups and individuals mix. Otherwise, our differences will come to divide us. That year they set out to run a summer programme that would reach 158 young people in the heart of London and kick-start the life of an organisation which has continued to expand ever since. The programme launched that summer would become the National Citizen Service (NCS) and would, within a few short years, touch the lives of tens of thousands of people.
In 2013, we launched our HeadStart programme; 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. In 2013 the programme launched with just 30 young people. Since then, over 3,000 graduates have completed HeadStart, resulting in over 50,000 hours of volunteering.