Programme Associate Manager (Part-time)

Start Date: January 2017

Location:  London Waterloo and working across South-East London

Hours: 15 hours a week (3 days at 5 hours per day)

This is a fixed-term role until May 2017 where you will be focussing primarily on the set-up of the programme. There may be the opportunity for full-time work for the right candidate from May until September.

About the Organisation and the NCS Programme

The Challenge is a fast-growing social enterprise that connects and inspires people across Britain to strengthen their communities. We work on a local level to bring together people from all ages, ethnicities and walks of life, connecting communities and building trust.

We are a major provider of the government’s National Citizen Service (NCS), a life-changing experience for 15-17 year olds. In summer 2016, 35,000 young people across our regions took part in our eighteen day intensive NCS programme. The scheme is available to young people from all backgrounds to take part in outdoor activities, meet new people and give something back to their communities. By taking part they learn new skills and have a great experience they can put on their CVs or college applications.

They achieve this by completing three challenges:

  • NCS Personal Challenge (PC): Between four and seven socially mixed teams of young people bond through a week of challenging outdoor activities.
  • NCS Team Challenge (TC): Teams return to their local area and learn skills in either Drama, Media, Photography, Enterprise, Music, Art or Sport. They use these skills to interact with the community and create a showcase performance for friends and family.
  • NCS Real Challenge Design (RCD) and Real Challenge Design (RCA): Teams work to design and deliver a campaign and social action projects that will bring the local community together. In order to gain funding and advice on their projects, the young people pitch to a ‘Dragons Den’ style panel of influential people in their community.

All young people who complete our NCS programme graduate and are signposted into year-round social action opportunities through The Challenge Society.

The Delivery Programme Associate Manager Role

The Delivery Programme Associate Manager leads a team to oversee delivery of our National Citizen Service (NCS) programmes. You will provide leadership and coaching to build a strong team, support staff to deal with critical incidents and ensure a high quality and safe programme is set-up and delivered.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Set-up and deliver a high quality and locally delivered NCS programme for 15-17 year olds
  • Plan and manage key logistics during delivery, including liaising with transport providers, food delivery and accommodation
  • To manage a budget efficiently, following relevant procedures, during both setup and delivery periods
  • Assist with the recruitment and assessment of seasonal staff
  • Manage and develop a strong team ensuring they are well-bonded, supported and directed
  • Set a high-standard for self and team at all times.
  • Develop high quality community projects that enable young people to make a difference in their local communities
  • Manage relationships with external organisations, partners and providers as appropriate
  • Ensure Health, Safety and Safeguarding are a priority, ensuring that risks and incidents are managed appropriately and in a timely manner
  • Participate in out of hours / overnight on call rota during delivery periods
  • Ensure compliance with organisational policies and procedures at all times

Person Specification


  • Experience of managing and delivering high quality events or projects, whether in a paid or voluntary setting
  • Experience of working with groups of young people aged 15 -17 residentially, outward bound or direct delivery youth work, or equivalent, in a voluntary or paid capacity
  • A basic understanding of safeguarding and risk management
  • Experience of working with diverse community groups and projects
  • Extensive experience managing and motivating teams of people in challenging environments e.g. youth programmes, outdoor education or alternative education; fast-paced workplace; seeks to improve self and others
  • Experience of building and growing relationships with key stakeholders, both internal and external; able to engage with people from diverse backgrounds and communities
  • Strikingly positive attitude and integrity, with ability to inspire and lead teams; a flexible approach to work and willing to go the extra mile to make a difference
  • A good academic record or relevant equivalent experience

The Challenge is a fulfilling but demanding place to work.  Two-day weekend working will be required on a number of occasions during delivery period.  During delivery periods, staff work on a rota system and work evenings being on call. Some early mornings and late evenings will be required at different times throughout the year.  During delivery you will not alway be based in the office and will be expected to spend time visiting programmes, sites and partners.

We run a fast-paced and challenging programme which requires a high level of flexibility. In addition to the responsibilities outlined you may be required by The Challenge to undertake any duties within your skills and capabilities which The Challenge reasonably considers necessary to meet the needs of the NCS Programme.

You will be entitled to competitive annual leave (pro rata on contract length). All leave must be taken within the contracted delivery period and agreed with the manager in advance.

To apply for this role please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with an up to date CV and a cover letter detailing why you are suitable for this role.