Fife group moves course from rugby pitch to online to help people get back to work

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Social inclusion charity, School of Hard Knocks, usually uses rugby lessons on the pitch alongside classroom-based activities to deliver life and employability skills to unemployed adults, but it has since moved online due to the pandemic.

As a direct response to those who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19, it has created a shortened, online, high impact version of its standard eight week course.

With an urgent focus on re-employment, SoHK’s ‘Back In The Game’ short course will be delivered over five days, running from 9:30am to 12pm.

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The grouop works with oung people in schools in Fife and Glasgow, as well as adults across the country.

SoHK team huddle.SoHK team huddle.
SoHK team huddle.

Megan Gaffney, administration officer, said: “We work with individuals to help them take responsibility, and to take positive steps forward in their lives.

"We offer a number of different programmes, with each one tailored to its audience with specific aims. The constant factor we provide is our methodology – controlled confrontation, challenging activities and a constant affirmation of self-worth and motivation.

“Initially our main concerns were around still being able to connect with our participants and to support them through lockdown. We had to cancel all of our face to face contact, so as a charity we created online content that could be accessed by all current and former participants.

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Megan Gaffney. Pic: George McLuskie.Megan Gaffney. Pic: George McLuskie.
Megan Gaffney. Pic: George McLuskie.

“We have a team of four or five facilitators who lead, deliver, and share the sessions, and for the physical sessions we bring in experts including some of the country’s top fitness instructors, rugby players and Olympic athletes.”

Megan explained why the fitness and mind aspects of the course are so important.

"Fitness is an area often forgotten about – it’s amazing how much better you feel after a bit of exercise!” she added.

"The mind sessions will help participants reframe things they’ve usually viewed in a negative light. For example, sessions on growth mindset and goal setting will encourage those who feel they are stuck in a rut, and to look outside the box and approach things in a different way.

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"We’ll also address Zoom interviews, as this is likely to be the way they are carried out for a while, and, at the end of the week, each participant will have the opportunity to have a mock interview with one of our corporate partners to practice everything they have learnt during the week.

"Back In The Game is an opportunity for people to connect with others in their area currently going through similar tough times.

"There is no judgement, and the staff are experts in employability. It’s a chance for people to get a bit of structure back in their day and give them a feeling of self-worth."

The next course is running from Monday, February 15- Friday 19th every morning 9.30am – 12pm.

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It is completely free, and open to anyone over the age of 18 who is unemployed.

To take part, participants will need to be able to access Zoom for the 2.5 hours each morning.

To sign up or learn more about the course please email Megan: [email protected], or call 07557 083 925.

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