Our programmes

Our programmes

Through our three programmes, National Citizen Service, HeadStart, and Step Forward, we bring together people from different backgrounds, building trust and developing young peoples’ employment and life skills.

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Our voice

Our voice

We speak up about the importance of building a more integrated society – sharing great ideas resulting from our policy research and programmes.

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Our story

In April 2009, five employees and a handful of volunteers founded The Challenge.

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Curriculum Administrator (Temporary) (London) (deadline: 13th March)

Curriculum Administrator (Temporary)                                         

 

Start date: 21/5/2016

Location: London Waterloo

 

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce from all walks of life to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. For more information about what The Challenge does and its values, please visit our website https://the-challenge.org/

About the role

A temporary 2-3 week position to provide administrative support to the Curriculum team getting the 2016 Summer Curriculum documents print ready.

This role would suit someone highly organised, efficient and able to deal with large amounts of complex information. This person would need excellent attention to detail to deal with a large number of documents to ensure consistency and clarity for all printed materials. They need an excellent understanding of Microsoft Word and experience formatting large documents, including use of tables, headings and templates.

 

The Curriculum Administrator’s primary responsibilities will be:

·         Formatting documents to match standardised templates and ensure visually engaging resources

·         Merging documents into Manuals and Guides

·         Updating and fact checking resources and documents

·         Checking consistency across all guides and resources

·         Supporting with the administrative duties of the team

 

We are looking for outstanding individuals with the following qualities:

·         Able to work collaboratively with people on projects across various departments and locations;

·         Strives for continous improvement by seeking and sharing feedback appropriately and respectfully;

·         Learns from their mistakes and always commits to performing at their best.

 

Experience Required:

·         Experience working in an administrative role

·         Experience working to tight deadlines in a busy environment

Skills Required:

·         Excellent attention to detail

·         Excellent spelling and grammar; able to proof read documents

·         High level of computer literacy using Microsoft Office, particularly formatting large documents in Word

·         High level of administrative skills; able to support a team with administrative tasks

·         Able to work independently, manage own workload and take initiative to complete tasks

 

 

Further Details

·         This is a temporary role for 2-3 weeks full time. Exact times to be confirmed

·         £10 per hour

·         Please apply by sending your CV and cover letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by midnight on the 13th March.

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

 

No Agencies.

HeadStart Coordinator

HeadStart Coordinator                          

 

Start date: May 2nd 2016

End date: Jan 31st 2017 

Contract length; 9 months

Location: Central Manchester

 

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together people from different backgrounds to increase levels of trust and build a stronger society.

This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. For more information about what The Challenge does and its values, please visit our website https://the-challenge.org/

About the programme

HeadStart is a bold initiative which seeks to address the challenges of social segregation and youth employability.  Delivered by The Challenge, HeadStart offers diverse groups of 16-18 year-olds the opportunity to develop their employability skills through volunteering and workshops. Once completing their volunteering and workshops the young people are provided with a guaranteed job interview for a part time role with either Starbucks or New Look.  

About the role

The HeadStart Coordinator will support the Senior Assistant Programme Manager in the final phase of setting up the programme in Manchester as well as it’s delivery over the summer and Autumn. The role will require someone who is a fast learner, highly motivated and has a passion for empowering young people through volunteering and social action. The role will involve logistics, youth engagement partnership working, administrative tasks and supporting workshop facilitation.

The HeadStart Coordinator’s primary responsibilities will be:

      Maintain and manage local relationships: Work in partnership with local charities to ensure everything is in place for the HeadStart volunteers.

      Direct Support to Young People; The HeadStart Coordinator will be responsible for supporting groups of young people on their first day of volunteering.

      Provide Logistical and Administrative Support: Support the Senior Assistant Programme Manager with all the logistics and administration related to confirming volunteer placements with partners, delivering workshops and setting up job interviews. This will involve the use of The Challenge’s online database; Salesforce.

      Support with Communications to Young People; The HeadStart Coordinator will engage young people through calls and texts in relation to their placement on the HeadStart programme.

      Support in Workshop Delivery and Facilitation: Support the running of high quality training during workshops and kick offs with young people.  Facilitate discussion and openness in large and small settings.

      Monitoring and Evaluation: Support on the collection and analysis of monitoring data.

 

We are looking for outstanding individuals with the following qualities:

 

      Creative Community Engagement: Experience of volunteering or engaging with diverse community groups.

      Organisation; Strong organisational and logisitical skills

      People skills: Ability to quickly build rapport and form good relationships with young people and external partners.

      Character: Strikingly positive attitude, learns from their mistakes and always commits to performing at their best.

      Flexibility; Willingness to work weekends and weekday evenings as required.

      Experience; Experience of working in a fast paced and demanding environment

 

Desirable

      Project Management: Experience managing events or projects

      Understanding Data: Good working knowledge of Salesforce and excel.  Ability to follow and understand targets.

 

Further Details

Attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, and childcare vouchers.

      This is a fixed term role from 2/5/16 to 31/1/17 with the possibility to apply for permanent roles.

      Salary £18,000 pro rata

      Please apply by sending a CV and covering letter addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 21st 2016

      Interviews will take place on the week commencing March 28th 2016.

      The HeadStart Coordinator will be based at the Challenge’s offices on Chester Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M32 0RS. The role will involve some travelling across Manchester but a driving licence is beneficial but not required.

 

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

 

No Agencies.

StepForward Marketing Manager (London) (deadline: 27th March)


Step Forward Marketing Manager                                  

Start date: ASAP

Location: London

Full time

 

About us

 The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.

You can learn more about us at www.the-challenge.org.

Step Forward is a school leavers’ programme run by The Challenge that recruits a diverse group of 18 year olds, places them into entry level jobs, and gives them the training they need to develop into professionals.  This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation. For more information please see www.stepforward.uk.com

About the role

We are looking for a creative, self-motivated Marketing Manager to lead Step Forward in our marketing activities.   This means reviewing and updating all of our current marketing strategies and tactics through the creation and implementation of a strategic marketing plan.  Step Forward recruitment is a story of two halves; marketing is required to both young people and to potential employers and the Marketing Manager must ensure that there is a clear value proposition for both groups.  The role requires a thorough understanding of the full marketing mix – utilising the 7Ps to clearly position the Step Forward offering. This is a fantastic opportunity to join an entrepreneurial and innovative organisation.

 

The Marketing Manager’s primary responsibilities are: 

·         Create and implement a  strategic marketing plan

·         Work closely with Account Management and Sales teams to identify our value proposition and ensure that this is clearly communicable

·         Review and update existing promotional materials and create new materials where gaps exist

·         Create an advocacy programme and begin to build a core group of advocates

·         Review the ROI for our existing promotional activities

·         Build the online presence of Step Forward including maintenance and development of our existing website

·         Set SMART marketing objectives and monitor progress against these; adapting strategies where necessary

·         Identify weaknesses in our existing offering and work with the rest of the Step Forward managers to propose potential improvements

·         Work with front line sales teams to ensure that they are fully equipped to deliver consistent messages to our target audiences

 

 

Person Specification

 

Essential Skills/experience

 

 

·         Marketing expertise; degree, CIM or significant marketing experience

·         Ability to  plan and manage complex projects with measurable outcomes

·         Highly organised completer-finisher who strives for excellence

·         Proven track record in developing creative online and print content to reach varied audiences

·         Excellent copywriting skills and attention to detail

·         High-level oral communication skills to build internal and external relationships

·         Ability to work in a fast-paced and demanding environment

·         Ability to analyse and interpret quantitative (e.g. sales results) and qualitative (e.g. market research) data  to help inform onging strategy

·         Gravitas with senior stakeholders

Desirable skills experience

 

·         Experience with schools, young people or education sector

·         Line management experience

Dates, location, salary and benefits

  • Interviews will be held at the end of March/start of April
  • Start date ASAP

·         Based in Waterloo, London

  • Permanent contract
  • Salary range available on request
  • We are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees

 

To apply

 

Please send your interesting, relevant and easy-to-read CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Sunday 27th March . Also, on one side of A4 and in no more than 400 words, please:

·         Give an outline proposal for what you would do in your first month of working as the Marketing Manager for Step Forward

 

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

 

 

StepForward Sales Manager (London) (deadline: 20th March)


Step Forward Sales Manager                                     

Start date: ASAP

Location: London

Full time

 

About us

 The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.

You can learn more about us at www.the-challenge.org.

 Step Forward is a school leavers’ programme run by The Challenge that recruits a diverse group of 18 year olds, places them into entry level jobs, and gives them the training they need to develop into professionals.  This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation. For more information please see www.stepforward.uk.com

About the role

An exciting and challenging opportunity has become available for someone passionate about young people to lead the Step Forward sales team. We are looking for an energetic and creative people leader to drive our sales efforts to enrol young people on Step Forward. The role requires a combination of strengths in people, account, and process management. This is a fantastic opportunity to join an entrepreneurial and innovative organisation.

Reporting to the Head of Step Forward Recruitment, you will lead a team of 5-12 staff to find, select, assess and place 18 year-olds onto the Step Forward programme. It represents a great opportunity to build on people leadership skills, hone existing systems skills and to bring creativity to a sales approach.

The Sales Manager’s primary responsibilities are: 

·         Recruit,  train and coach sales staff and support  their professional development

·         Direct line management and motivation of sales staff through an annual campaign

·         Sett and monitor performance targets  and adapt processes to ensure delivery of ambitious goals

·         Secure the sign up, assessment, matching  and retention of the full contingent of participants of the Step Forward programme

·         Significant input into sales strategy, working with Head of Step Forward Recruitment

·         Empower staff to lead the building of relationships with Head Teachers etc.

·         Lead on specific projects and ensure high quality delivery

·         Help refine and manage systems and processes.

 

Person Specification

 

Essential Skills/experience

 

·         Highly organised people-person

·         Successful experience managing and motivating individuals and leading teams

·         Ability to analyse and interpret quantitative (e.g. sales results) and qualitative (e.g. market research) data  to help inform onging sales strategy

·         Good verbal and written communication skills in group or one to one situations

·         Gravitas with senior stakeholders

·         Experience managing complex processes successfully (experience with Salesforce and/or Excel beneficial)

·         Project management experience

·         Ability to drive a team towards achieving ambitious targets

·         Ability to guide and support team through the full sales process

Desirable skills experience

 

·         Sales and marketing experience

·         Knowledge of sales processes & associated tactics

·         Experience working with Excel and/or Salesforce

·         Business development experience

·         Experience with schools, young people or education sector

Dates, location, salary and benefits

  • Interviews will be held during the week commencing 21st and 28th of March.
  • Start date ASAP

·         Based in Waterloo, London

  • Permanent contract
  • Salary range available on request
  • We are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees

 

To apply

 

Please send your interesting, relevant and easy-to-read CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Sunday 20th of March. Also, on one side of A4 and in no more than 400 words, please:

·         Summarise what you think are our key messages in promoting Step Forward to school leavers

·         Share insights on how you would manage a junior sales team

 

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

 

 

Curriculum Coordinator

Curriculum Coordinator                                          

Start date: 1/5/2016

Location: London Waterloo

 

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce from all walks of life to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. For more information about what The Challenge does and its values, please visit our website https://the-challenge.org/

About the role

An exciting new role to support the Curriculum Team with the creation of the NCS Curriculum. The Curriculum Coordinator would join the team to provide administrative support to the content development, review and evaluation process for the NCS programme.

This role would suit someone highly organised, efficient and able to deal with large amounts of complex information. This person would need excellent attention to detail to deal with a large number of documents to ensure consistency and clarity for all printed materials. They would also support the content development to ensure an engaging and exciting programme for young people taking part in NCS.

We are looking for someone passionate about young people, preferably with experience working on the NCS programmes or a similar programme for young people.

This is an office based, strongly administrative role, and would be ideal for someone interested in the organisation and administrative side of delivering a large-scale youth programme.

The Curriculum Coordinator’s primary responsibilities will be:

·         Supporting the content creation for the NCS Curriculum

·         Working with young people and delivery staff to support ongoing evaluation and quality assurance of the curriculum delivery

·         Formatting documents to match standardised templates and ensure visually engaging resources

·         Updating and fact checking resources and documents

·         Checking consistency across all guides and resources

·         Supporting with the administrative duties of the team

 

We are looking for outstanding individuals with the following qualities:

·         Able to work collaboratively with people on projects across various departments and locations;

·         Strives for continous improvement by seeking and sharing feedback appropriately and respectfully;

·         Learns from their mistakes and always commits to performing at their best.

Experience Required:

·         Experience delivering and/or designing activities for young people

·         Experience working in an administrative role

·         Experience working on an NCS programme or similar residential programme is highly desirable

·         Experience working to tight deadlines in a busy environment

Skills Required:

·         Excellent attention to detail

·         Excellent spelling and grammar; able to proof read documents

·         High level of computer literacy using Microsoft Office, particularly formatting large documents in Word

·         Able to communicate information in clear, visually engaging way. Publishing and design experience is highly desirable

·         High level of administrative skills; able to support a team with administrative tasks

·         Able to work independently, manage own workload and take initiative to complete tasks

·         Able to deliver and support focus groups and feedback sessions with young people and delivery staff

 

 

Further Details

In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees.

·         This is a full-time, 12 month fixed term role with the possibility of extension

·         Salary: £21,000 per annum

·         Please apply by sending your CV and cover letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 31st March.

·         Interviews for this role will take place in mid-late April with a preferable start day of the 1st of May

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

 

No Agencies.

Thoughts from The Challenge

News from The Challenge



The Challenge is the UK's leading charity for building a more integrated society. We work on a local level to bring together people from all ages, ethnicities and walks of life, connecting communities and building trust.

To learn more about our work and impact, please watch the video above or click here to view a quick guide to our mission and programmes.


  • The Challenge is the largest provider of the National Citizen Service in the UK



  • 72% of our NCS participants agreed with the statement: ‘I am more able to trust people’



  • We employ over 400 permanent staff nationally and over 3,500 seasonal staff



  • 76% of our NCS participants felt more confident about getting a job in the future



  • In 2014, 93% of HeadStart graduates felt they had improved communication skills



  • In 2014, 66% of HeadStart graduates felt they would continue volunteering after HeadStart



  • Nearly a third of young people who have heard of Step Forward rated it as their first choice when leaving school



  • In 2014, 85% of HeadStart graduates felt they better trusted people from different walks of life



  • In 2014, The Challenge collaborated with 800 community and business partners



  • In 2014, 78% of HeadStart graduates felt more connected to their community



  • 88% of our NCS participants felt they were better at working in a team



  • 94% of young people attending NCS, delivered by The Challenge in 2014, attended state schools, with 13% on free school meals



  • Step Forward received over 400 applications in its first year for just 48 places



  • 7% of those attending NCS, delivered by The Challenge in 2014, had a disability



  • In 2014, 52% of participants in NCS, delivered by The Challenge, were from a black and minority ethnic background



  • Over 30,000 16 and 17 year olds will take part in NCS delivered by The Challenge in 2015