Our Story

HeadStart was developed in 2013 by The Challenge, in partnership with the Mayor of London and leading businesses. It was designed to better prepare school leavers for the world of work today, at the same time helping to build stronger, better-connected communities.

We recognise that our current education system struggles to prepare young people for life and work in the 21st Century, especially when interpersonal skills, empathy, resilience and networks are increasingly important to our knowledge-based economy. More and more, young people today need the ability to interact well with individuals from different backgrounds; move between different jobs understanding new unwritten rules, with the resilience and tenacity to retrain and learn throughout their career.

We believe that high-quality volunteering is an important part of the solution, giving young people a meaningful experience that will help them develop greater responsibility, grow networks and learn soft skills by receiving feedback and reflecting on their experiences.

Thanks to HeadStart, over 11,000 young people across England have now volunteered 200,000 hours in their local communities and gained access to a guaranteed job interview.

We are excited that HeadStart has found a new home as part of Family Action, a charity that has been supporting children, young people and families across the UK since 1869. We look forward to now supporting many more young people, helping them gain skills and get ahead.

To learn more about the work of Family Action, please have a look at their website here.