How We Work

Supporting Communities

Our vision is that young people should be given every opportunity for character development; we believe that building capacity within schools and communities is as important as introducing external programmes.

We help schools to install capacity by:

  • Reviewing a school or community's current curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular provision, providing professional insights and highlighting different opportunities and savings to allow the school or community to create a comprehensive programme of character development activities that meet Ofsted criteria.
  • Promoting the benefits of character development activities in schools and communities to students, young people, parents/carers and teachers.
  • Supplying evidence of tangible outcomes and lasting impact which the school or community can learn from and which will allow them to take responsibility for delivering structured character development programmes going forward.
  • Awarding grants to organisations (schools, academy trusts, other educational bodies) and communities that have applied to, or have been working in partnership with, the Trust. These grants may be in the form of a bursary to the organisation to enhance its existing character development provision or direct funding to cover costs for a specific character development project.

The Charity is organised so that the Trustees meet at least three times a year when they take strategic decisions to award and review grants. 

We believe that a comprehensive programme of character development will typically include a blend of outdoor education, role model presentations, pupil to pupil supervision, curriculum trips, cultural tours, sports fixtures, enterprise training, careers talks, music camps and personal development expeditions overseas.

Menu of Activities

Trips & Visitors:

Role Model Assemblies and Class Talks

Aspirational talks, workshops and assemblies designed to motivate and inspire young people to widen their ambitions, delivered free of charge from a network of volunteers who are expert in their field.


Emotional Health & Resilience

The Challenger Trust work in close collaboration with the Icarus Trust, a charity which addresses emotional resilience, mental health wellbeing and provides social support.


Pupil to Pupil Responsibility

Students are trained on how to become leaders amongst their peers.  An example of this is Leadership in the Lunch Queue, which gives young people the chance to take control of lunch queues to help maintain order and build their own confidence while giving teachers back the time that had been devoted to lunchtime supervision. 


Farm visits

Creating a lasting relationship between schools and working farms, with pupils dedicated to providing real-life help for local farmers, while learning the valuable concept of ‘from farm to fork’.


Countryside exploration

The UK’s countryside teems with wildlife and natural beauty that provides a perfect environment for pupils to participate in unique and exciting exploration and activities. 


Community service

Community Service helps to build links between schools and the local community.


Sports & athletic events

The scope for sports and athletics events is wide, ranging from individual sporting classes and activities to inter-school fixtures and large scale events which bring pupils from different schools and areas together to learn and play sports collectively.


Performing arts 

A broad range of activities from school-specific workshops and drama classes to cross-school events where young people are brought together to learn through the medium of performing arts. 


Music programme

Music programmes can be created that is tailored to the requirements of the school and interests of pupils, to encourage education through the means of music in its many forms. 


Onsite workshops/demonstrations

Workshops are valuable tools for strengthening and emphasising topic-based learning, with a hands-on approach to encourage pupil participation and stimulate interest. 


Historical monuments

The history and beauty of UK culture can be understood and appreciated by visits to local monuments of interest: bringing history to life. 


Bush Craft and Survival

Pupils of any age can learn basic bushcraft and ‘survival’ techniques within school grounds or as an off-site activity.  They gain an understanding of nature and the environment while participating in shelter-building and fire-lighting, learning the dual importance of fires and how to administer first aid ‘in the bush’.   


Museums & art galleries

Traditional educational trips to museum and art galleries continue to be a valuable way to encourage pupils’ interest in specific subject areas or topic themes. 


Curriculum-based residentials

Pupils can enjoy a stimulating ‘outside the classroom’ experience of a residential trip with a curriculum-focus, which can be tailored to a particular area of study.


Big Events Days

These days are specially designed personal development programmes on a large scale, with the potential to bring thousands of pupils together across academy trusts or clusters.  The Big Event Days help pupils to reach their potential outside the formal classroom environment; they focus on building confidence and self-esteem and developing life-long skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication.   The Days all have a very different focus, to give pupils exposure to a variety of activities which will inspire them to achieve, eg Athletics, Performing Arts, Bush Craft and STEM.


Career fair-style events

Professionals from a range of sectors come together to interest and inspire students to understand their career options and to gain valuable guidance in their future employment choices.   


Apprenticeships advice

Companies with active apprenticeship schemes give advice to students on the range of apprenticeships available, the benefits of the schemes and how they can apply.


University visits

Guided visits to top UK universities make higher education more accessible to students from every background and aspires young people to aim high.  


Staff Training for programme delivery

Teachers are trained by specialists to develop the skills required to effectively deliver certain character development activities going forward.



 We source a range of adventurous trips and expeditions via the supply chain (including uniformed organisations) and support the participation of individuals financially through enterprise and grants.


UK & European expeditions

Younger learners start their expedition journey with shorter-duration programmes within the UK and Europe, such as the Brecon Beacons programme where pupils can challenge themselves during the day on the climbing wall and high ropes course, learn bushcraft skills at a remote wild camp and enjoy evening team bonding games around the campfire.


Character Measurement System:

Underpinning a successful character development programme is the means for partnerships and young people to acknowledge this development.  Each partnership is encouraged to install a bespoke Character Measurement System on which young people witness their own progress and outcomes by recording the attributes they have developed during participation in character development activities.  Young people record when they have developed a character attribute, and work towards reaching a certain level of attainment, where they will be awarded the Challenger Diploma.



Key to the Challenger Trust programme is ensuring that young people with financial challenges are not excluded from participating in activities.  The higher-cost expeditions that we recommend are designed to be fully funded by young people through the help of enterprise and sponsorship.   Young people engaging in Challenger Enterprise are motivated to take part in all aspects of fundraising and running a business, developing real-life skills that they require in adult working life while raising funds to subsidise the cost of their own trip. 

Enterprise activities are varied and range in complexity to suit the needs of each age group.  Young people can engage in group enterprise activities such as bake sales, cinema nights, weekly tuck shops and football tournaments, or undertake their own activities at home, eg washing cars and other household chores for family and neighbours.