Our mission

The Challenge is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society.

We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others.

Delivery Senior Programme

Previously Summer Manager

Start Date: May 2016 – August 2016
Leeds and Manchester

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.

This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. For more information about what The Challenge does and its values, please visit our website www.the-challenge.org

About the role

The Senior Programme Manager (SPM) will support the delivery of our NCS programme during the peak of our delivery period. SPMs manage and coach a number of Programme Managers and other staff members; build a strong local team; support staff to deal with critical incidents and ensure high quality programme delivery.

The SPMs primary responsibilities will be to:

·         Oversee the set up and delivery of the NCS programme across multiple geographical areas

·         Ensure quality community projects are in place whilst setting up and planning key logistics for delivery across specific geographical areas

·         Directly manage Programme Managers to support them to run their own areas; advise on behavioural, safeguarding and staff management decisions whilst being responsible for the personal development plan process

·         Build strong teams and develop staff, ensuring each team of four people is well bonded and clearly directed with clear development plans

·         Work collaboratively across zonal areas to manage the safeguarding information management process within that zone

·         Act as cover for the Senior Programme Manager or Programme Manager when required and provide other logistical direction and management when required

We are looking for outstanding individuals with the following qualities:


·         Project Management and Logistics: Proven track record in successfully managing and delivering large scale and complex projects on time, including managing large budgets

·         People Management: Proven track record of extensive experience managing and motivating large teams of people in fast paced and challenging environments e.g. residential youth programmes; experience coaching and developing staff over long periods of time; particular experience of managing Managers

·         People Skills: Extensive experience inspiring and leading large teams;

·         Youth-work Experience: Extensive experience working with young people in residential settings, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity

·         Community Engagement & Relationship Management: Proven track record working with diverse community groups; experience in building stronger communities and advocating change in society

·         Academics: A strong academic record or relevant equivalent experience

·         Character: Strikingly positive attitude and integrity

·         Proven track record of dealing with critical behavioural and safeguarding incidents, effectively making ultimate decisions

·         Experience of managing relationships and working effectively with key and high level stakeholders, both internally and externally


·         Understanding: Knowledge of own strengths; ability to empathise and see others’ point of view

·         Professionalism: Strong work ethic; time keeping; responsiveness

·         Responsibility: Take responsibility within and beyond the role

·         Trust: Trusted by colleagues to always deliver

·         Energy and Initiative: A can-do attitude with an enthusiastic and persuasive personality

·         Flexibility: Adjusts work schedules; plans; prioritises as required to fulfil overall objectives

·         Humble: A positive, helpful attitude at all times in what is a busy and challenging role

·         Adaptable and uses initiative to change style quickly in different situations

·         Persistence and determination

·         Calm under pressure

·         Ability to lead and proactively demonstrate excellence through example, learns from their mistakes and always commits to performing at their best

·         Strives for continous improvement by seeking and sharing feedback appropriately and respectfully

Further Details

In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees. You will also have access to a personal learning and development plan; internal and extrnal training opportunities and progression opportunities for exceptional candidates.

·         Some early mornings and late evenings will be required at different times throughout the year

·         Salary is £34,000


To apply for either or both roles, please send your CV by 20th November to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note: The Challenge is a fulfilling but demanding place to work.  Two-day weekend working will be required on a number of occasions during the year.  During July and August, staff work on a rota system and work evenings being on call.

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

No Agencies

The UK is becoming much more diverse. Over the coming decades, the country is projected to become the most ethnically diverse western nation; at the same time the proportion of the population aged under 18 or over 60 is expected to grow rapidly, increasing the average distance in age between citizens. We are also increasingly segregated by income; for example half of all the children in primary and nursery schools in England who are eligible for free school meals are concentrated in a fifth of the schools. As our country becomes more diverse, we believe it is critical that people come together and build stronger connections between one another and between communities.

Launched in 2009, The Challenge is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, a society in which there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others. In 2009, approximately 160 young people participated in our programmes; in 2016 we reached around 45,000 participants. Our three programmes are NCS, HeadStart and Step Forward.


More than 200,000 young people have already taken part inour programmes




YouTube Watch our impact video

“Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed the whole experience… I wish I could do the whole thing over again.”

NCS participant

 “The HeadStart young people were the best group of volunteers I’ve had support us so far. They were so pro-active and energetic.”

Joseph, Allotments Manager

“We took on an apprentice through Step Forward in September last year and to date our experience has been nothing short of amazing.”

Ross McMurray, Step Forward employer, Axis Communications

Latest from the blogJoin us at ‘The Great Get Together’ this summer

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