When one of us falls, we all fall. When one of us triumphs, we all triumph.
It’s simple really - when we come together, we are stronger. There is power in the team.

2020 has been School of Hard Knocks’ most challenging year yet. In his final all staff email of 2019, our CEO and founder Ken Cowen signed off by saying ‘here’s to an absolute barnstorming 2020’ - and that’s exactly what we were set to have.

At beginning of January, we had twelve major events scheduled for 2020, received three years’ worth of funding from Comic Relief to start an exciting new programme in Wales, and were on track to deliver at least 14 eight-week Adult Courses whilst continuing Schools Programmes delivery. By mid-March, our face-to-face delivery had been suspended, our new programmes had been postponed and all of our events had been cancelled.

Having taken so many blows in such a short space of time, it would have been easy to fall down and stay down – but School of Hard Knocks has a name to live up to. Together we adapted, innovated and excelled. Within a matter of weeks, the SOHK team created a completely new suite of online resources for our children and adults and developed a comprehensive wellbeing pack for all of the schools we work with (and the schools we don‘t); we also quickly pivoted our fundraising strategy so that we could hold events virtually.

Nine months later and we are still standing.

One of the reasons SOHK uses rugby as a core activity is to show participants how the individual strengthens the collective and how the collective strengthens the individual. All of our programmes teach that there is power in the team - this year we got our very own refresher course in that lesson. 

Without new friends, old friends, corporate partners, staff, online supporters, SOHK alumni and so many more people propping up the scrum – without our team - we would never have been able to achieve what we have this year. SOHK’s newly developed Back in the Game course has helped over 50 unemployed adults during the pandemic, we are back in schools working with young children who are in desperate need of our support, and we are preparing ourselves for a brand new, barnstorming year – but to make 2021 a barnstorming year, School of Hard Knocks needs your help.

We are still standing, but we don’t want to just stand. We want to push forward.

With thousands of people having lost their jobs and disadvantaged young children falling even further behind, School of Hard Knocks’ work is needed now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the existing inequalities within our society; we are going push forward and continue to narrow this gap, but to do that we need you on our team.


 

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School of Hard Knocks