News from The Challenge

We’re a rapidly-growing organisation and the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society. You can view the latest news regarding our programmes, mission and impact in communities across the UK below.


Social Integration Commission launches final report

In March 2015, the Social Integration Commission released its final report Kingdom United? Thirteen steps to tackle social segregation.

This report builds on previous research into levels of segregation in the UK and makes a series of practical recommendations for schools, businesses, civil society organisations, government, and individuals to act upon in order to create a more integrated and cohesive society.

Kingdom United? has received substantial coverage on television and radio:

  • The Today programme interviewed the Social Integration Commission’s Chair, Matthew Taylor, on Monday March 9.
  • The Challenge’s Strategy and Development Director, Jon Yates appeared on 5Live’s Breakfast Show and BBC Wiltshire.
  • The Challenge’s Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Mark Rusling, was interviewed by BBC Merseyside.
  • A recent episode of BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze focused on the report. Guests including Giles Fraser, Melanie Philips and Michael Portillo explored the question ‘Do we as individuals have a moral duty to mix socially with people who are different from us?’

The report has also been covered my a number of national publications including broadsheet newspapers:

  • The Independent and Inside Housing covered the Commission’s call for the abolition of ‘poor doors’.
  • The Telegraph highlighted the Commission’s proposal for faith school reform in addition to a number of other recommendations.
  • Commission’s Chair, Matthew Taylor, summarised the Commission’s findings on the New Statesman’s ‘The Staggers’ blog.
  • Kingdom United was discussed in both The Observer and The Guardian blogs.
  • The Report was referenced in a Daily Mail article on race by Trevor Phillips.

  • 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