UK Government Minister’s praise for Glenrothes rugby project helping people back into work

Social inclusion charity, School of Hard Knocks (SOHK), has been described as ‘pioneering’ and ‘remarkable’ by a UK Government Minister on a visit to Glenrothes.

David Rutley,the Department for Work and Pensions’ Minister for Welfare Delivery visited the school’s course at Carleton Park last Wednesday to see first-hand how its rugby sessions are helping unemployed adults in the Kingdom.

After watching a training session, he spoke to the charity’s programme director Rosa Innes and participants of its latest eight-week course.

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David Rutley MP (centre) with staff and participants of the School of Hard Knocks in Glenrothes.

They explained the school combines using rugby to help build essential life, confidence and new friendships with support to write CVs and learn interview techniques among others, in order to help get people into and stay in work.

Mr Rutley said: “I heard some of our Universal Credit claimants were being referred to the School of Hard Knocks by the local Jobcentre and was delighted to find out so many were going on to sustain employment.

“As a keen rugby fan I understand the power the sport can have on and off the pitch in teaching lessons in perseverance, teamwork and paying attention to detail in order to build confidence.

“It is really pioneering the way it brings the participants together and what shone through was their desire to make the most of the opportunity.”

Rosa Innes, programme director at SOHK, said: “SOHK has been really successful in Fife - we’ve had great attendance, retention and high numbers of participants reaching positive destinations.

“Sport is a brilliant vehicle for social change- we’re so pleased to have been able to show the Minister what we can achieve through rugby.”