We are delighted to welcome Oliver to The Challenge as the Chief Executive.

A former colonel in the Royal Marines, Oliver served for 20 years including in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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It all started on an average school day. The NCS team came to my school to do a presentation about the programme. I later phoned my parents pleading to go, and luckily they agreed! There was lots of anticipation as I counted down to the start of NCS.

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Last month, Mayor of London Boris Johnson addressed an audience of over 200 people drawn from the business and third sectors, to officially announce the launch of our new programme, HeadStart London.

HeadStart London inspires young people to strengthen their communities through volunteering, whilst giving them the skills and experiences to succeed at work.

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My name is Shernice Rai and I am a 17 year old NCS graduate. I completed NCS last year in South Birmingham and this year, I chose to complete a work experience placement with The Challenge.

During the course of the week, I was given the chance to see the magic that is created in The Challenge office ahead of the start of NCS.

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Last November, we launched an exciting new pilot project for our Coventry and Warwickshire NCS graduates. Funded by The Dulverton Trust, the project has engaged over 100 young people to date in volunteering and social action projects, including a sleep out with Coventry and Warwickshire YMCA, stewarding at Coventry Half Marathon and working on a research project with local radio station, Radio Plus.

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The Observer, 06/07/14

A friend tells me her mother is “fully Chinese”, while her father is slightly Spanish, a little Iraqi and “a lot” Jewish. “I tick ‘mixed other’,” she adds, laughing. Throw “white British” into the mix and you have her daughter, whom she and her husband lovingly describe as “the mongrel”.

As ethnicity winds its way down the generations, it creates a complicated yet wonderfully interesting web. 

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The Telegraph, 03/07/14

The UK is becoming a racial melting pot with a surge in the number of relationships and marriages across ethnic dividing lines in the last decade, according to official figures.

But while the number of people from black, Asian and mixed-race backgrounds settling down with someone from another group have all risen, white people remain by far the most segregated on the domestic front.

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