headstart programme


HeadStart is an 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 get active in their local community.

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We challenge young people, aged 16-19, to volunteer for at least 16 hours in return for access to skills workshops and an interview for a paid role with one of our leading corporate partners, including Bloomberg, Starbucks, Nando’s and Zendesk.

HeadStart helps young people build the skills they need for work and life, and broadens their horizons by connecting them with people who they might not otherwise mix with. Our charity partners benefit from new volunteers, and our corporate partners are introduced to diverse new talent, helping them achieve their social responsibility goals.

To date, almost 10,000 young people have completed over 150,000 hours of volunteering, supporting hundreds of local charities.

Are you a company or charity interested in partnering with HeadStart?

Take a look at our latest Impact Report (2017-18), or watch this short film about our partnership with Starbucks.

HeadStart - Spread the word

Ready to give time and get ahead?   Sign up here!

How does HeadStart work?

Here are the four key phases that each HeadStart volunteer will go through.

  • Two young women volunteering

    Give Time - Volunteering

    We challenge you to volunteer for 16+ hours, making a real difference to the lives of service users and your local community.  We match you with a local charity, and have such a range of placements available, you can choose one that you are truly passionate about.

  • An adult doing a workshop with a group of young people

    Gain Skills - Employability Workshops

    You can access exclusive workshops to get expert advice on employability skills and interview preparation!

    Delivered by professionals and usually costing hundreds of pounds to attend, our workshops give you the tools and confidence you need to stand out when applying for courses and jobs.

  • A young man and young women doing a job interview

    Get Ahead - Guaranteed Job Interview

    You can access an interview for a paid part time job or internship with one of our leading corporate partners, opening up a range of industries from hospitality to accounting.  Even if you don’t want a job at this time, it’s an amazing opportunity to experience a professional interview, and we’ll support you so you’re confident to perform at your best.

  • New horizons

    Expand your Horizons

    Mixing with new people brings huge value to our lives.  You’ll learn from professionals who are eager to offer advice and share knowledge, and hear about their experiences and how they got to where they are today. You’ll also meet people from all walks of life in your volunteering placement, and see how charities are changing the lives of their service users.

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HeadStart Action is a version of the programme for young people who are at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training (NEET). Find out more here.

To find out more about how we keep young people safe on HeadStart, download our safeguarding policy here.

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