SOHK England

In London, we have two courses starting on January 29th – we are back in Croydon for our 6th course there with women’s boxing and we have a men’s boxing course in a new area for us – Shepherd’s Bush. This will run in the Alan Dale Boxing club – the boxing club that was part of the Grenfell Tower and rebuilt into a state-of-the-art facility for the local community. Recruitment started from the 7th and has been going fairly well. With Jacob’s departure to Birmingham, Nathan will run the Croydon course alongside Priscilla – who steps up from running the men’s fitness sessions last time around. Jim will run the course over in West London along with Cheryl and welcomes back Kerry for one day a week also.

Nathan (Director of Programmes, England), due to all of my time in the Job Centre recently, my quote of the month is “are you looking for work at the moment….?”


Number of schools: 5

Number of Students: 125

Highlights for last term:

  • 5 students from our Hertswood school in Borehamwood have now attended training sessions at their local rugby club (Tabard RFC)
  • SOHK students attended a fixture at Harrow School
  • South London Schools attended the Varsity match @ Twickenham Stadium
  • East London School has visited Nuclear races for an outdoor assault course and team building day


Royal Docks – Year 10

Comparison of Autumn Term 2017 – Autumn Term 2018

* Number of times late – 82% of students have improved the number of times they were late (9/11 students)

* Behaviour – 75% of students improved the number of negative behaviour points (9/12 students)

* Behaviour – 83% of students equalled or improved their behaviour points (10/12 students)

Royal Docks – Year 11

Comparison of Autumn Term 2017 – Autumn Term 2018

* Behaviour – 86% improvement in behaviour (12/14 students)

* Achievement – 71% improvement in achievement points (10/14 students)

Warlingham School – Year 9

Comparison of Autumn Term 2017 – Autumn Term 2018

* Attendance – 84% of students have equalled or improved their attendance (16/19 students)

* Number of times late – 79% of students have equalled or improved the number of times

* Exclusions – 68% of students have equalled or improved the number of times they were excluded (13/19 students)

Hertswood School

* Attendance – 66% improvement in attendance (10/15 students)

Bacons School Year 8/9

* Lateness – 78% equalled or improved the number of times they were late (14/18 students)

* Positive Behaviour – 100% improved their positive behaviour points (18/18


We finished our last adult course at the beginning of December. We had 24 complete of which 50% have already reached a positive destination.  

One of which was Leon. He was referred on to the course by Gav as his mother is the Glenrothes RFC physio. Leon suffers from autism along with hypersensitivity to noise. He had previously undertaken a long term placement with Police Scotland working in a mechanics role on all their vehicles. However, this ended leaving him very lost and bitter. 

Upon starting the course he was shy, independently choosing to sit away from the main group (largely due to sensitivity to noise) however we gradually were able to break this down. A huge aspect of this was the guest session delivered by members of RAF Engagement team and their team building workshops. 

Over the coming weeks, Leon really grew and integrated into the group. He thrived during his mock interview with Sky, including some great feedback regarding his eye contact which for someone with autism is fantastic! Before finishing the course his mum informed me that he had secured a college interview for a computer programming course. We have since heard that he has secured a place to start this summer. (I have attached a photo with a quote from his mum)

In terms of the school work, Gav has recently had 6 girls from Auchmuty and Lochgelly schools come down to his club at Glenrothes RFC to continue playing rugby. With this, they are the initial foundations and core of the club setting up a girls section. 


Jamie: “My experience with SOHK has been amazing. It's making me more confident and it helps me meet people I wouldn't have met without this programme. It also allows me to relieve stress from my job and college, which is helpful for both my general wellbeing and mental health.”

It has been a busy month for the Welsh delivery teams who even managed to take a week off to celebrate the festivities with their families and loved ones.

Our adult team ended 2018 on an extremely positive note; they completed an RCT course based in Pontypridd Rugby Club, with twenty-eight of the borough’s hardest to reach residents completed our employability programme.

It was unbelievable to hear that so many of these people were the third or fourth generations of their families that had never worked.

The team had their work cut out, to say the least; but with the strength of our curriculum being delivered by professional staff who actually care came to fruition by delivering fantastic outcomes around employment, further-education and volunteering opportunities.

No time to sit back and celebrate their successes for our Adult Team though, they are currently very busy recruiting new participants for our upcoming Neath – Port Talbot course that goes live 4th February 2019.

The Welsh Schools Team ended last year by celebrating a growth in participants being supported by SOHK for School (Cymru) by over 50% from the school year 2016/17.

The team achieved a fantastic stat of only losing one pupil at risk of being at risk of permanent exclusion in 2018 out of one hundred and eighty being worked with.

Prior to the Christmas Holidays, Neil Cole and Elinor Snowsill lead their teams to encourage our students to remain safe over the break and they were happy to see our schools’ participants return earlier this month.

We are currently working with five partner schools (YG Plasmawr, Coleg Gwent, Cantonian High, Lewis Boys School and brand-new partner – Risca Community Comprehensive) all of which will have more games in the next few weeks, visits from Welsh Rugby Internationals and some away-days – all of which being earned by showing a growth-mindset within their teams. 

Caitlyn: "In my experience with SOHK I have gained more confidence in meeting new people. I have really enjoyed my time doing rugby and would definitely love to carry on during my time in college. We have learned to work as a team. Also, if I ever have any issues I know I could speak to Hannah."

The Welsh Management Team ended last year by trying to make sure that the Welsh Team take time to relax and recharge our batteries –  and following our return from Christmas Holidays Catryn and I have been meeting new corporate partners in what is a brand-new area for SOHK, this will enable us to access their employment opportunities, their staff and hopefully a bit of hard cash too...

Tom: “My personal experience with SOHK has been absolutely outstanding because it relieves the stress of constant pressure from family and sometimes college work. It is a great way to meet new people and socialise with people with different backgrounds.”

Catryn is also hard at work sourcing and writing new grant funding streams at the moment while I have been recruiting new volunteers, filling student placements and maintaining old and building new relationships with delivery partners to support the Welsh delivery teams in Neath-Port Talbot and across the Principality.