headstart action

I loved it. They made me feel comfortable working with a group, as normally I was extremely shy.

Diletta, HeadStart Action pilot participant

HeadStart Action

HeadStart Action uses social action and employer encounters to support and inspire young people aged 14-18 years who are at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training (NEET).

We engage them with their education and community in a positive way, to build the skills, experience and networks they need to get ahead in the world of work.

Our priorities

HeadStart Action is designed as an introduction to our award-winning HeadStart programme, and was developed in partnership with the Mayor of London and Lendlease to provide more tailored support to young people with fewer opportunities, including:

  • Goal setting for the programme and longer term
  • Mentoring support throughout the programme
  • Employability skills workshops
  • Career workshops with corporate partners
  • Social action projects empowering them to lead social change
  • Work experience interview with a corporate partner
  • Showcase event to present their social action projects and network with professionals
headstart action programme

Following a successful pilot in 2018, we’re expanding the programme across Newham, Hackney, Haringey and Westminster, with generous support from the Mayor of London’s Young Londoner’s Fund (YLF).

We’re partnering with three local organisations – The Diana Award, Groundwork London and Inspire! – and the Greater London Authority, to boost the employability skills of 400 young people in 2019.

At the end of the 16-week programme, we encourage participants to join our HeadStart programme, so that they can continue to receive support from us.

For further information about HeadStart Action please contact 
teean.smith-robinson@the-challenge.org.

HeadStart Action

HeadStart Action pilot 2018

We piloted HeadStart Action in 2018 in Southwark, working with pupils from Ark Globe Academy, St Thomas the Apostle College and Harris Academy.

We piloted HeadStart Action in 2018 in Southwark, working with pupils from Ark Globe Academy, St Thomas the Apostle College and Harris Academy. We delivered the 16-week programme in collaboration with Football Beyond Borders, London Bubble Theatre Company and Lendlease.

The programme was in 2 phases:

Social Action

Students took part in social action projects to learn how to use their voice within their community and beyond, and presented their projects in a showcase at City Hall.

Employability skills training and personal development

Students reflected on how the skills they developed in their social action projects could meet the needs of employers. They took part in workshops to develop their communication and interview skills, in preparation for work placements with Lendlease.

For further information about HeadStart Action please contact 
teean.smith-robinson@the-challenge.org.

headstart action interviews

I loved it. They made me feel comfortable working with a group, as normally I was extremely shy. They really encouraged me and knew I had potential. They helped me overcome my issues with confidence. I enjoyed it because I got to know new people. Before HeadStart Action, I wouldn’t have ever stood up in class to speak publicly.

Diletta, HeadStart Action pilot participant

I thought it was going to just be the same as everything else, but HeadStart Action offers experience in learning about things you can do in the present and the future. Making eye contact was something I was fearful of, I just didn’t do it. Before, I never used to make eye contact with people but now I can and know the importance of it. It’s good to have these opportunities when you are young so you know what you may want to do when you’re older

K-Ci, HeadStart Action pilot participant