Our mission

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.


The Challenge has broadly welcomed today’s speech by the Prime Minister which acknowledged that a lack of integration can result in some young Muslims feeling isolated and vulnerable to radicalisation. The full text of the Prime Minister’s speech can be read here.


A study conducted by the Social Integration Commission last year found that, in fact, white working class Britons are the least integrated group in the UK. We therefore welcome the Prime Minister’s refusal to single out British Muslims as the cause of our segregated society.

Having rightly recognised the scale of the problem, the Prime Minister has launched a review into integration to be lead by Troubled Families Tsar, Louise Casey, with a report to be released early next year. The findings of this report will feed into a Cohesive Communities programme, to be launched in 2016.

While there is no way of knowing what the policy outcome of the review will be, Cameron hinted towards changes in education and housing policy, including shared school campuses. Our recommendations for changes in these areas were captured in the Social Integration Commission’s final report.

Pointing towards positive action that is already being taken, the Prime Minister announced his continued support for the National Citizen Service and the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds that it is providing to young people from all sections of society.

The UK is becoming much more diverse. Over the coming decades, the country is projected to become the most ethnically diverse western nation; at the same time the proportion of the population aged under 18 or over 60 is expected to grow rapidly, increasing the average distance in age between citizens. We are also increasingly segregated by income; for example half of all the children in primary and nursery schools in England who are eligible for free school meals are concentrated in a fifth of the schools. As our country becomes more diverse, we believe it is critical that people come together and build stronger connections between one another and between communities.

Launched in 2009, The Challenge is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, a society in which there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others. In 2009, approximately 160 young people participated in our programmes; in 2015 we reached circa 34,000 participants. Our three programmes are NCS, HeadStart and Step Forward.


More than 200,000 young people have already taken part inour programmes




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“Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed the whole experience as it exceeded my expectations. Since completion of this course I have made many good friends and miss the whole experience and wish I could do the whole thing over again.”

NCS participant

 “All the volunteers were very enthusiastic and worked really well I found that most of them seemed quite apprehensive on their first day, however the change in them after just a couple of hours was immense. Their fear had gone, confidence was building and they were having fun!”

Gina, HeadStart charity partner, Enfield Stars

“We took on an apprentice through Step Forward in September last year and to date our experience has been nothing short of amazing. We regularly benefit from Yusuf’s new ideas and skills. Having an apprentice has not only been an eye opener but also a great success and one I would strongly recommend to anyone.”

Ross McMurray, Step Forward employer, Axis Communications