Thoughts from The Challenge

We work on a local level to connect people across all ages, ethnicities and walks of life, and advance great ideas to build a more integrated society. You can view a selection of blogs and articles from The Challenge team below.

Katie Hopkins, prejudices, and our fears

Last week, Katie Hopkins stirred up much hatred across the country for admitting she wouldn’t like her children to play with kids whose names expose their lower class roots.

We’ve all been told that judging a book by its cover is morally wrong. Yet, we’ve all allowed our prejudices to take control of us at some point in our lives.

Sometimes our prejudices lead us to think irrationally – like believing everyone called Osama is an extremist, or a man named Oswald is automatically an upper-class toff.

Sometimes our prejudices lead us to doing controversial things, even if they are based on good intentions – like trying to protect your children from danger by segregating them from specific groups within society.

Katie Hopkins’ prejudices were based on exactly this idea. She considered what would be the best upbringing for her children, a dilemma all parents are faced with every single day.

What links Katie’s and all our prejudices together is one simple thing – fear.

Our fear of the unknown leads us to think and do irrational and controversial things. It stops us from talking to people like Osama and Oswald; it stops us from allowing our children to play with others; it stops us from taking an active role in our communities.

The Challenge Network brings together young people of all names, from all income backgrounds to help alleviate their fears of one another and better shape their communities. 

  • 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