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.


NCS helps 88% of participants to mix with different people

The Challenge has conducted a survey into the impact that the National Citizen Service has on its participants.

By surveying over 100,000 participants of NCS between 2011 and 2013, we have been able to identify the long-term benefits that the programme provides to young people.

The extensive survey provided us with the following results:

  • 88% of respondents agreed that NCS helped them to mix with people outside their local area.
  • 76% stated that they have mixed with people of a different ethnicity to them after finishing NCS.
  • 9 out of 10 respondents said they were more likely to volunteer.
  • 70% have volunteered in the 6 months preceding the survey.
  • 68% said that the programme helped them develop in both education and employment.

What is clear from the survey is that NCS is successfully fulfilling its aim to inspire young people to mix with people who are different from them and to continue to do so throughout their lives. The social action aspect of the National Citizen Service has also proved to incentivise people to take on volunteer opportunities and get involved in shaping their communities. NCS has helped to develop the character and resilience of thousands of young people, who now feel more confident to take on new responsibilities.


  • 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