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.

Download the HeadStart Impact Report here.

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

Headstart Action

HeadStart Action improves the skills and employability of 16-18-year olds in London. It was designed in partnership between The Challenge and the Greater London Authority.

HeadStart Action gives 16-18-year olds bespoke support to help them gain employability skills, increase their personal development, and introduce them to social action. In addition to mentoring, they also receive interview preparation support, a job interview to build their life experience, and the opportunity to access work experience through a corporate partner.

The programme is expanding in 2019, with the help of three new delivery partners. Between them, The Diana Award, Groundwork London and Inspire! will support 400 young people across four London boroughs to boost their employability skills, in partnership with Greater London Authority and Young Londoners Fund.

Emma Jenkins from The Challenge, said:

“The HeadStart Action pilot showed how the right support and interventions can open up a world of opportunities for young people who may not otherwise access further education or training. It is fantastic that the Mayor wants to expand the programme to those who’ll benefit most in London.”