Aberdeen Standard Investments funds School of Hard Knocks charity over £18k

A social inclusion charity which uses sport to tackle unemployment, crime and poor health, has obtained a financial boost of £18,291 from the Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation.

The School of Hard Knocks will kick off 2020 by offering an eight-week training programme which will use rugby to help transform the lives of unemployed adults in Edinburgh.

Delivered over eight weeks, Changing Lives will recruit 25 participants from job centres and referral partners in the Scottish capital, like Social Bite, Women’s Aid, Turning Point and housing associations.

The sessions comprise a mixture of fitness, strength building and rugby training. The physical element involves participation and teamwork, as well as emotional control, confidence-building and instilling a sense of pride.

Participants work towards SVQ qualifications recognising community achievement and employability which can help bring about positive changes to move forward in the future.

The programme and in turn the team spirit is further fostered with hot meals of breakfast and lunch being provided which the participants enjoy together.

Rosa Innes, School of Hard Knocks programme manager for Scotland, said it’s no soft option as it’s an intense programme of rugby training and employability skills.

Time on the pitch and gym is complemented by time in the classroom and participants work towards two SVQ level four qualifications from Edinburgh College as well gaining new up-to-date CVs, interview skills and with increased confidence, happiness and fitness.

Ms Innes said: “As a social inclusion charity we use sport to tackle unemployment, crime and poor health. Our interventions combine sport with a curriculum of powerful life lessons based on our unique methodology of controlled confrontation, challenging activities and a constant affirmation of self-worth.

“We work with unemployed adults to find and sustain employment and help them to realise their potential, take responsibility, take positive forward steps in their lives and contribute more fully to society.

“It’s no exaggeration to say the support given by Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation will play a large part in transforming lives by providing a route to increased confidence, happiness and fitness as well as identifying the stepping stones to success.”

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments, added: “School of Hard Knocks helps empower men and women in challenging circumstances to fully realise their potential by delivering life and employability skills.

“This charity’s work supports our shared vision of creating a positive and meaningful impact in our community by supporting those who are disadvantaged in our local community to build the necessary foundations for a brighter and happier future.”

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