Streets Ahead of Benefits in Birmingham
We have just to started to film the seventh series of School of Hard Knocks and this time we are going to be helping young unemployed men in Birmingham.
Birmingham has been in the news a lot recently because of the row over the ‘poverty porn’ tag given to Channel 4’s controversial series Benefits Street. Whilst, I am not prepared to pour scorn on the C4 documentary, I am pleased to be involved in a TV series that does not just stand by and observe people who need support in society but actually rolls it’s sleeves up and gets stuck-in to give real tangible help and guidance people get off benefits.
School of Hard Knocks is a SKY Television Show that uses the values of rugby combined with motivational psychology to help unemployed men find a focus in life. It is a social inclusion scheme that uses rugby to teach participants crucial life lessons and core values, designed to allow them to deal with issues such as health, crime and citizenship and to eventually enter the world of employment. The course and programme is led and mentored by former World Cup winner Will Greenwood, Welsh and British Lions legend Scott Quinnell and myself. My specific role is to realign their psychology and teach them life skills that will lead them into jobs.
This series has never been just a corporate social responsibility programme, this series is something everybody involved passionately believes in and, hopefully, like in Glasgow last year and Tottenham the year before, we can once more make a real difference in young peoples lives by actively getting involved and helping them rather than standing on the sidelines and sneering.
If we change a few more people’s lives for the better, the benefits will be streets ahead of any observational documentary.