Social integration charity The Challenge today celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Established in 2009, the national organisation, which has seven offices across the country and employs 670 people, has gone from strength-to-strength over the years becoming the largest provider of NCS and the leading force in creating a more integrated society.
Oliver Lee, CEO of The Challenge, said:
“Today is a very special day in our history and I’m immensely proud of all that The Challenge has achieved over the past decade. In the current political climate, our vision to create a more integrated society, where people understand and appreciate each other’s differences, is more important than ever.
“While there may be many divisions in our country, the impact of the work we do every day proves how strong and united our communities can be, especially when people of all ages and backgrounds come together to achieve a common goal. We look forward to making this continue over the next ten years.”
The Challenge has now worked with more than 200,000 young people since 2009 and, every year, young people contribute more than one million hours of volunteering in their communities through programmes, including National Citizen Service (NCS) and HeadStart.
HeadStart encourages volunteering in the local community and helps to upskill young people and help them gain part-time employment. The Challenge also works closely with the DfE on its industry placements pilot and acts as the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Social Integration, chaired by Chuka Umunna MP.
The Challenge began with five people who could see that their communities were getting more segregated and created a pilot programme that brought teenagers from different backgrounds together in a bid to stop this. That pilot programme would go on to become NCS, which today is the UK’s fastest-growing youth movement.
The original programme reached 158 young people in the capital and now the organisation works across the country including in the major cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester.
The Challenge hopes to develop its existing programmes and take on new opportunities to assist with creating a more integrated Britain.