School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks (SOHK) is a national charity that works with adults and young people aged 11 to 16 who are facing inequality. It changes lives through high impact sports, as well as group and one-to-one mentoring. 

Engaging groups with a range of different needs

South Wales Police and the Violence Prevention Unit worked with Neil Cole, Lead Facilitator for Schools Cymru, SOHK.

“I looked through the resources and realised they were very suited for the groups of young people we work with,” said Neil. “The groups have a variety of needs, ranging from lack of confidence to violent outbursts towards others.”

SOHK works with them weekly, covering a curriculum of personal development sessions, as well as physical sessions using the values of rugby as a tool.

Showing the dangers of carrying a knife

For his #NotTheOne sessions, Neil adapted the questions from the website into a quiz and then played one of the ‘real experiences’ videos. He then used the same format with all of his groups throughout the week. 

 The idea, he said, was to reinforce the dangers of carrying a knife and to instigate discussion with the young people he works with. 

“Showed a great deal of respect”

Neil thought the sessions went well. 

The online quiz was a great way of engaging our groups,’ he said. ‘They all found the ‘real experience’ video clips shocking and tragic, and showed a great deal of respect when it was shown (pin drop moment!).

“The question and answer sessions that followed were some of the best we’ve had with our groups. I was very surprised about how honest and frank they were.”

Delving into other important topics

With some of the groups, the discussions led into county lines and dealing, and these themes were further explored in subsequent sessions. 

“I will certainly be using the resources with other groups in the future,” said Neil. “Next time, perhaps I’d break them off into groups to discuss the quiz questions, but we were limited with time.”

Any advice for other teachers or professionals looking to use the campaign in their work? 

“Be prepared for discussions to lead into other topics, such as drug dealing and county lines.”

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