Foundation strike new partnership with Commando Joe’s

Leeds Rhinos Foundation has joined forces with leading education provider Commando Joe’s to help school children across Leeds overcome the stress and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This exciting new partnership will see Leeds Rhinos Foundation become the city’s exclusive delivery partner for Commando Joe’s award-winning Character Education programme, in a bid to teach resilience to pupils amid concerns over the trauma they are experiencing during this difficult period.

It will also provide extra support for teachers, many of whom have been impacted by the increasing pressures to keep themselves and their students safe.

Foundation staff will receive training from Commando Joe’s team of elite instructors, tailoring bespoke programmes to meet the requirements of each institution they work with. Unique and challenging, the lessons will help to build pupils’ character and resilience by developing key attributes associated with a military ethos- such as discipline, confidence and courage.

To support their understanding of these life skills, children will be tasked with undertaking a series of fun and engaging “missions” – supported by video endorsements from famous explorers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Ed Stafford and Levison Wood.

As demand for the programme reaches an all-time high, Commando Joe’s Founder Mike Hamilton OBE is delighted that Leeds Rhinos Foundation can provide a platform to deliver it to schools across Leeds.

“On the surface, children may seem to be coping ok with things as they return to school, but we are hearing from a lot of worried headteachers and parents about the fears they are displaying.’ explained Hamilton, an ex-Commando and bomb disposal expert who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“When it comes to this current crisis, we can use our expertise in dealing with volatile situations to pick our young people back up by helping to rebuild their self-confidence and mental strength.

“Our team have faced some of the most dangerous and stressful situations in the world – so we know how to help children cope and stay calm with whatever life throws at them.

“We want to work in partnership with outstanding providers who really care and want to make an impact in the community and Leeds Rhinos Foundation certainly tick that box.”

Gareth Cook, Head of Community and Engagement for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “As a leader in education at this time, we know just how tough the pandemic has been. We want the best outcomes for our young people, but we also have to think about looking after teachers with all the extra responsibilities they are currently managing.

“It’s such a challenging period for everyone and so it’s important that we find innovative ways to help our schools reduce the impact it has on our children’s mental wellbeing.

“We are delighted to enter this partnership with Commando Joe’s and we hope that providing our Partner Schools with access to this wonderful programme will have huge benefits for both pupils and staff, creating positive learning environments throughout the city.”

Backed by the Department of Education, Commando Joe’s programmes are currently used by more than 1,000 schools in the UK and can be flexibly adopted to compliment delivery of the National Curriculum, creating a holistic approach to a child’s learning and development.

To find out more about how Commando Joe’s could work in your school, please contact

For more information on the Commando Joe’s programme, please visit