The Challenge


  • The Challenge aims to put teams of diverse 16 year olds through a one year training
         and community service scheme starting with a three-week summer camp and then 50 hours
         of social action to tackle local civic and youth-related issues.
  • Ultimately the aim is for alumni to get more deeply involved serving with community
         organisations and youth work who current suffer a chronic shortage or workers and
         volunteers, as well as to gain skills and maturity and networks across social divides.

Outcomes to date

  • 158 participants undertook the Challenge programme across the summer (54 wave 1,
         45 wave 2, 59 wave 3).
  • An average of over 90% participants who started, have completed the full summer
         programme, rising to 98% on the final programme.
  • All teams are continuing to meet weekly or fortnightly beyond the summer programme to
         plan and deliver their social action 'Real Challenge' projects.
  • 2 team leaders, 13 senior mentors, 30 team mentors and 12 employee mentors have
         supported the programmes across the summer.
  • There has been strong positive feedback from a variety of visitors to the programme.
  • 2 videos were made over the summer and detailed evaluation surveys were completed,
         for both internal use and for the University of Strathclyde.


  • The level of social mixing was good with most teams of 12 comprising young people from
         5-10schools on the Southwark based programmes. There seemed to be strong mutual
         respect within teams irrespective of social background (respect between teams more of a
         challenge given competitive dynamic).
  • Levels of retention through the programme have been very high, with the bonding between
         the young people the key. This was sustained during the non-residential elements of the

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The Challenge
The Challenge