HeadStart and HeadStart Action Transfer Announcement

The Challenge are excited to announce the transfer of two of our ongoing successful youth programmes, the award-winning national HeadStart programme, and HeadStart Action developed in partnership with the Mayor of London.

HeadStart, formed in 2013, will now be delivered by Family Action, a charity that has been supporting children, young people and families across the UK since 1869. HeadStart is a volunteering and employability programme which supports young people across England to volunteer at least 16 hours in exchange for a guaranteed job interview. Through social action, the programme encourages young people to engage in positive and meaningful interactions with people from different backgrounds within their local communities and employees from leading businesses. So far over 11,000 young people have volunteered more than 200,000 hours. 

HeadStart Action, formed in 2017 by The Challenge and the Mayor of London, will now be delivered by London Youth on behalf of the Mayor. HeadStart Action provides bespoke support to young people aged 14-18 in disadvantaged areas, helping them to gain employability skills, aid their personal development, and introduce them to social action. Since the programme began over 500 young people in London have benefited. HeadStart Action will engage a further 360 young Londoners in 2020. 

Both programmes will continue working together from within their new organisations to inspire young people and continue the legacy and mission of The Challenge, helping to build a more socially integrated and connected society. 

“We are delighted that the fantastic work of HeadStart and HeadStart Action will continue to go from strength to strength in 2020 and beyond. Family Action, the Mayor of London and London Youth are all passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential, and we could not be more excited that these two excellent programmes will be able to maintain their ongoing impact. The work of both programmes is vital in supporting hundreds of young people each year to connect with their communities and gain skills and employment as they build their lives for the future. We look forward to the next chapter in the journey of both HeadStart and HeadStart Action knowing they will be well supported and nurtured in their new homes.” Colin Cliff, Head of Operational Design, The Challenge.


“We would like to thank The Challenge for all of the work they have done to develop and expand HeadStart London and HeadStart Action alongside our team at City Hall.  Both programmes have had a positive impact on thousands of young Londoners, and we are pleased that Family Action and London Youth will be offering a new home to take this work forward. We look forward to working with both organisations to continue to grow and develop HeadStart and HeadStart Action across London.” Alice Wilcock, Assistant Director – Team London and Sport, Greater London Authority