HeadStart is a programme developed and delivered by The Challenge.

It’s a chance for graduates to continue their NCS journey and give back to their local community through exciting volunteering opportunities. HeadStart is offered in London, Birmingham, Black Country, Solihull, Greater Manchester and Preston.

It all starts with giving time. We help young people find volunteering opportunities that fit their interests and availability and then support them to complete 16+ hours of volunteering. Whether that is choosing one of hundreds of opportunities HeadStart has found, continuing with existing volunteering, or finding something different.

A young person only has to complete one hour of volunteering to gain access to our exclusive workshops, designed to enhance their interpersonal and employability skills. We work with businesses like Starbucks, New Look, Bloomberg, GLA, Zendesk, Berkeley and more. They believe in the power of volunteering so much, that when a young person volunteers 16 hours or more, they will guarantee them a job interview. It’s a great way of helping young people get the head start they need.


The benefits

  • Personalised online profile – enables easy access to all of your HeadStart progress.
  • Exclusive workshops, events & professional development opportunities.  
  • Expert advice on employability skills, interview preparation and how volunteering can work for you.
  • ‘Get Ahead’ event – an awesome opportunity to meet and learn from global business leaders, to help you get ahead.
  • Completer certificate – to say THANKS and to use in your CV and applications beyond HeadStart.
  • Become a HeadStart ambassador – share your HeadStart story with future participants and benefit from further professional development opportunities.

“HeadStart has given me the confidence to believe in myself and to help me to achieve what I would have previously thought wasn’t possible.”

Lauren, HeadStart participant