Headstart Action Programmes


HeadStart Action was designed by The Challenge in partnership with The Mayor of London and Lendlease and was piloted in Southwark in 2018. It is a tailored 16-week programme designed for 14-18 year olds who are either in the 'forgotten middle' or those who are at risk of becoming NEET.

The programme explores social action, personal development and employability skills training. The social action phase makes up 10 weeks of the programme;  participants collaborate with a charity partner to create a performance/presentation exploring issues that are meaningful to them and showcased at city hall. At the end of the programme young people are supported to interview for work experience.

Run by: HeadStart Action Programme Manager and The Challenge

External involvement: Greater London Authority, London Bubble Theatre Company, Football Beyond Borders, Lendlease, local charity partners.

Other attributes developed: Self-expression, self-awareness, behaviour regulation, increased confidence, interpersonal skills, empathy, understanding and networking skills.

Reflection: Reflection is built into the programme with students supported to look at their progress throughout and include a short reflection within the final presentation. Young people are encouraged to use this experience in their CV, during interviews and in personal statements.

Opportunities to link to career-related learning: Employee volunteers could be used to support delivery of the employability workshops and interviews. Students could explore job roles in their chosen charity. Links to Gatsby Benchmark 5 - Encounters with employees and employers