The Challenge Network working in partnership with Liberty Living


Now in its fifth year, Liberty Living’s relationship with The Challenge grows from strength to strength and city to city.

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Their mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen local communities. Collectively we bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.

They work on a local level to connect people together across all ages and walks of life. They achieve this by running youth and community programmes that have the central aim of mixing diverse groups of people with each other.

The UK is becoming much more diverse by ethnicity, income and age. Within 40 years, the country is projected to become the most ethnicity diverse western nation; and an ageing population is increasing the average distance in age between citizens.

As we become more diverse, we believe it is even more important that we create spaces that bring people who are different together as too many people live lives which they feel disconnected from each other.

We are proud to live in a country with a rich mix of different ages, cultures and backgrounds. But instead of valuing our differences, we often let them divide us. We know that many of us feel disconnected from each other and do not understand or trust people who are different from us.

It doesn’t need to be this way…

We believe in communities where people feel at home with each other, no matter their age, income or ethnicity. We believe in building trust between all groups of people in society. We also believe differences don’t need to divide us. If you believe this too, please support the work we do in building connected communities by supporting our network or by making a donation to this fantastic cause.

2013 was a remarkable year for the charity. With over 14,500 young people completing National Citizen Service (NCS) with The Challenge, they have enabled thousands of young people across the UK to build friendships with people from different backgrounds, engage in positive action and develop crucial skills for life and future employment.

However, we are under no illusion, more still needs to be done to build connections between people of all ethnic, income and age groups. This is why in January 2014,The Challenge will launch the UK’s first Social Integration Commission, making recommendations on how to improve levels of social cohesion in our increasingly diverse country.

Since 2010, Liberty Living has been providing housing solutions to support this fantastic initiative. The first group of young people and staff from The Challenge approached Liberty Living to house them at our student accommodation in Birmingham. Colin Ayling, General Manager from Liberty Living at Queen’s Hospital Close, housed a different group of 72 people for 9 consecutive weeks over the summer months, with support from Gary Nathan, Regional Operations Manager, and The Challenge Management Team.

In light of the excellent service and experience had by The Challenge in Birmingham, Gary Nathan arranged additional housing solutions in Coventry at our Liberty Point student residence and in Preston at our Liberty Village student residence in 2011. We again housed a different group of 72 people for 9 consecutive weeks over the summer months.

Our relationship with The Challenge Network continues to grow from strength to strength, and for 2014 we currently have arrangements in place to house groups in our Birmingham, Coventry and Preston locations.

We are extremely proud of The Challenge Network’s achievements to-date and look forward to supporting their housing needs over the years ahead.