When We Get Knocked Down, What Do We Do?

An Open Letter from Ken Cowen, CEO of SOHK

“When we get knocked down, what do we do?” So asked (shouted) Scott Quinnell, Wales and British & Irish Lions legend, to a group of School of Hard Knocks players before they went out to play their first ever game of rugby. I think we all know the answer he expected! This is what we tell our participants to do all the time – be they adults or children. Yes, we nurture, mentor and support along the way, but ultimately it is down to the individuals to access a growth mindset, develop their personal resilience and strive to realise their potential – despite the many and inevitable obstacles that will be flung in their way. 
I’m writing to you today because we urgently need your help.
The lockdown, caused by the Coronavirus, has hit School of Hard Knocks pretty hard and has placed real strain on our resources and finances.

I’m not saying we’ve been knocked down; let’s call it a pretty hefty blow! But if there is ever a time we have to practice what we preach, it is now. Why? Because I honestly believe that the need for our work in the UK will soon be greater, by some distance, than at any other time in our existence.
Aside from the many adults and children that we currently work with and who will be suffering in this period in so many ways, British society will emerge from the lockdown having to contend with unprecedented levels of unemployment, disengagement from education and mental health related problems.
So what we are doing now about this and what we are preparing for?
We’ve been busy creating and releasing brand new online content to support our current beneficiaries with a major focus on mental and physical health, key life skills, dealing with anxiety and much more. New content is going up each week for both children and adults.
We are also re-structuring our adults courses to create a much shorter and punchier version to support those recently unemployed, but who are essentially work ready and highly motivated. We would like to deliver this for DWP districts and Local Authorities.
What do we need from you?
It might be tempting to think about the tough times ahead and in old seafaring terms, ‘batten down the hatches’ and hope for the storm to pass. We cannot do that, and we would ask you not to either. It may be that you could do something for us on a larger scale that would make a life changing impact – after all, we need your help like never before. There are though, two relatively painless things that I would love you ALL to consider:

  1. Become a Friend of SOHK. Yes, we will always need the few who are in a position to give exceptionally. But if every individual who receives and reads this letter decides today to support our work for even as little as just £5 per month, then that will go a huge way towards sustaining our work for the long haul.
  2. Look out for our new campaign “Bake or Break’, and absolutely go for it. And get your friends to go for it as well. There is, literally no downside to this, so watch this space!

Thank you and stay safe!
Ken Cowen, CEO