About us

The Challenge Network (TCN) was founded in 2009 with the mission to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. Our programmes aim to create a rite of passage for 16 year olds, promote social mixing and support community engagement.  TCN is the largest provider of National Citizen Service (NCS).

Why we exist:

Our young people are struggling to come of age; they have lower levels of confidence and trust, weaker relationships and a lower sense of belonging than their contemporaries in almost all other developed countries.* We offer scalable programmes that help tackle these issues .

Our aims:

To bring together 16 year olds from diverse backgrounds and through a set of challenges, prepare them to design and deliver a project that will make a difference in their community. Along the way they learn key skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication, and are encouraged to develop trust in others, responsibility for themselves, understanding and empathy.

Our programmes:

The Challenge: A four part summer programme that gives young people a chance to gain transferable skills, form new friendships and impact their local area.

The Challenge Society: A year-round programme launched in October 2011 which supports Challenge graduates and their wider circle of friends in on-going community engagement, social mixing and personal development.

Click here for details of our latest results

2012 plans:

We plan to deliver The Challenge to 10,000 young people across London, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, establishing three regional hubs. Our key focus is on enhancing programme quality whilst learning how to scale and franchise our programmes.


The Challenge Network partners with a wide variety of organizations to deliver our programmes including Envision, Outward Bound Trust, The Scouts and London Youth.

* European Social Survey, NEF, 2007; ‘An overview of child well-being in rich countries’, UNICEF, 2007; ‘The Good Childhood Inquiry’, The Children’s Society, 2009.

“The Challenge is a fantastic civic service programme. To see such diverse teams of young people serving their community together is inspiring. I would like to see The Challenge made available to young people across London”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, at the graduation ceremony in December 2009.

If you like what you see then spread the word or bookmark it for later! Share