The Challenge values its employees and the teams dedicated to helping us achieve our vision of creating a more integrated society. We regularly grab five minutes of their time to highlight different roles and give you an insight into what it’s like to work for us.

Amanda Mealand is a senior programme manager for NCS. This summer she is working across the programmes in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. Amanda joined The Challenge six years ago as a seasonal worker, having previously worked with homeless young people. Outside of work, Amanda supports international NGOs with disaster relief projects, spending much of the year travelling.

A typical working day is…

“The first thing I tend to do is check for updates from the teams and see what needs actioning. The rest of the day is spent supporting programme managers with decisions and ultimately checking our young people are being looked after, that they are safe, well and happy.

I enjoy working with my team to get them into a place of efficiency, peace and calm. Working on NCS this summer offers us all an opportunity for self-development, by picking up new skills and tools whilst remaining calm in a fast-paced environment. On a given day there are all sorts of things that we deal with, from worried parents to young people not following our guidance.

To help, I promote mindfulness with the team Taking a few minutes to sit and focus on your breath and body can have a huge impact on wellbeing. I also promote efficiency, which applies to practical things like managing workload and emails – if those things are easier, it benefits everyone.”

My favourite thing about my job is… 

“I work with a really competent team, so there are people who can step in on my days off. I feel extremely lucky to have such a brilliant team.

I love developing staff and my team so that we can deal with anything. It’s about being prepared, so we are resilient and calm in the face of what may come. If the team and the people they manage are feeling good, that also benefits the young people and everyone’s experience this summer.”

The thing I find most challenging about my job is…

“There can be surprises and challenges, for example if we have to speak to a young person about their behaviour. This can lead to a parent becoming upset, but we must always make the decision we think is right for everyone.

Focusing on happiness is something I feel strongly about and I have studied it to help me. This focus guides me throughout the day –  each challenge can be overcome to achieve the job we are here to do!”

When I’m not working…

“I enjoy yoga, salsa, meditation and hiking!”

My favourite quote is…

“I have so many favourite quotes! One of my absolute favourites speaks to mindfulness and is:

‘Everything will work again, if you switch it off for a little while – including yourself.'”

If you’re interested in working at The Challenge check out our Careers page to find all our latest vacancies. You can also discover more about The Challenge’s people and what it takes to deliver our mission in our other five minute employee profiles.