Thirty Years Old and Still going Strong
Project Challenge was started in 1991 by Ted Howarth, an ex SAS soldier and youth worker who believed that a person’s past should not get in the way of their future.
In the beginning Project Challenge’s training programme was based on building learner confidence and self-esteem through a series of outdoor excursions, culminating in a three-week overseas trip to either the Pyrenees (in the summer) or Norway (in the winter) testing and challenging the young people’s physical and mental capacities. The right to go on a journey had to be earned by learners through good attendance and participation in the training programmes through the year.
The gruelling expeditions challenged young people’s mental and physical capacities and often
the experience proved to be the life-changing spur they needed to make significant changes in their lives.
In 2002 Lorna Butterick joined Project Challenge as Business Manager and began to introduce new programmes to meet changing circumstances.
Ted sadly lost his life to cancer in 2003, aged 56, his legacy and hard work continues to shine and be upheld by the charity’s brilliant and hardworking staff.
In 2007 the ‘Halifax Courier’ described Project Challenge as , ‘One of Calderdale’s best-kept secrets..’
In August 2019 Project Challenge moved from Dean Clough, to the Orange Box Young People’s Centre in Halifax centre, where Ted’s vision for young people continues to be honoured.
“Project Challenge now offers training programmes Project Challenge is an award-winning charity based at the Orange Box in the centre of Halifax. PC is a specialist education/training provider working with 16-19 year olds who have become disengaged from traditional education. PC offers two BTEC Level 1 vocational programmes in Sport and Hospitality plus Functional Skills maths and English from Entry level to Level 2. Our holistic approach is designed to initially re-engage learners with an outcome of further education or employment. Staff are qualified youth workers and teachers able to offer pastoral support to learners facing challenging personal situations,” said Lorna Butterick, the Project Challenge Business Manager Lorna Butterick.
Jill Wilson the Chair of the Project Challenge Management Board has been involved since the beginning she said, “For thirty years, the dedicated staff at Project Challenge have helped many young people achieve their goals and improve their lifestyles. Project Challenge aims to unlock young people’s potential by developing their confidence enabling them to achieve qualifications and self-esteem. That was the aim when Ted set-up the organisation and it remains as valid now as it did then. For as long as the young people of Calderdale need us we will be there to help them.”