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Joint statement from The Challenge’s chairman Bill Ronald and chief executive Oliver Lee OBE

We have today published a statement.

“For several months we have been in discussions with the NCS Trust regarding NCS provision for 2020 and beyond. Regrettably, we have been unable to resolve certain important contractual issues that adversely affect The Challenge’s ability to operate on that future landscape. It is therefore with much sadness that we confirm from 2020 that The Challenge will no longer play a role in the delivery of NCS to young people across the UK.

“The Challenge has been at the forefront of NCS as its largest provider, delivering first-class, value-for-money NCS provision. It has played a critical and founding role in NCS for over 10 years from the initial design of the programme to directly supporting over 242,000 young people to have a life-changing experience through it, and we are immensely proud of these achievements.

“The Challenge will no longer be participating in NCS provision, but will continue its other important work, including through HeadStart, the award-winning programme developed in partnership with the Mayor of London and leading employers, to bridge the gap between education and employment, whilst enabling young people to meet those different from themselves and become socially active in their local community.

“Exceptional people work at The Challenge and we pay tribute to their outstanding dedication, hard work, and professionalism, as well as their passion for social integration and young people. We know that drive and commitment will be brought to bear in the ongoing work of our special organisation.

“Thank you to all who have supported, partnered, supplied and worked with us over the last 10 years; we look forward to continuing these relationships in the years ahead. There will, naturally, now be a period of change at The Challenge as we refocus our energies and continue to explore new opportunities to achieve our ever more critical vision of an integrated society. We will keep people fully updated as this evolves.

“Everyone at The Challenge wishes the very best to those now charged with delivering NCS to the young people of the UK. We remain passionate advocates for NCS and stand ready to help in any way we can to promote and support this important work.”