School of Hard Knocks began with delivery to unemployed adults, and it remains the core of our work today. We are passionate about achieving our mission of empowering people to fully realise their potential and we deliver life-changing eight-week programmes to adults in challenging circumstances.  

What is it?

All our courses use lessons out on the pitch or in the gym, alongside classroom-based activities.  Our main beneficiaries are unemployed adults, so we deliver life and employability skills such as goal-setting, anger and fear management, CV-writing and interview preparation. This structure comes together with the ultimate aim of enabling participants to find employment and realise their potential.

How does it work?

We deliver the eight week course through three distinct phases - The Person, The Mind and The Career. We teach a framework of positive values and behaviours to equip participants for the workplace and for life more generally. Our unique SOHK psychology helps people overcome the barriers that stand in their way.

Who is it for?

SOHK began as an intervention for a group of young men in Liverpool who were unemployed.  Like lots of unemployed cohorts, they displayed a range of barriers to work, including criminal histories or behaviour; issues managing anger and fear; experiences of homelessness; and histories of addiction.  

We still work with groups of people who are unemployed now, although we now work with equal numbers of men and women across all age ranges.  We also, however, deliver specific courses for some of the barriers above, working with specialist agencies.  These range from working with unemployed adults in partnership with Centrepoint UK, to working with the police in Fife to address criminality.  SOHK is now able to reach hundreds of men and women each year and to provide them with the specific support that they need.  Read their real stories to see the tangible difference this work can make.

Ongoing Support

Participants in our courses are given the support of SOHK for as long as they need it. Sometimes this means people get back in touch after working for a long period, in order to get help applying for a new role. This process is also supported by volunteer mentors. 

Volunteer mentors work for up to a year after the course to help participants to stay focused on their life and career goals, make positive choices and continue improvements they began when working with us initially. Our aim is to keep former participants fixed on their new trajectory and help them hurdle any bumps in the road going forward.

Donate today to support this work across the UK.