Equip celebrates five years with the Outward Bound Trust

The partnership between Equip and Outward Bound is built on shared values

This week Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd., home of technical outdoor apparel and equipment brands Rab and Lowe Alpine, and The Outward Bound Trust celebrate a milestone in their five-year partnership.

During this time, Equip has supported over 200 young people to access the outdoors with almost 100k funding to the charity. Equip has also funded eight volunteer employee ambassadors through the partnership supporting the annual residential weeks, providing personal development opportunities for the participants, and additional support for the Trust.

The partnership between Equip and Outward Bound is built on shared values and a passion for encouraging more young people to experience the mental and physical benefits of the outdoors, while educating them on how to act responsibly and sustainably in wild spaces. It is aligned with Equip’s wider CSR Strategy as outlined in the company’s latest Sustainability Report.

Equip has supported the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, Derbyshire with an annual Outward Bound residential for year eight pupils through the partnership, extending opportunities for a cohort of pupil premium students in the local area. The academy aims to raise aspirations and help young people gain life skills that will aid future employability.

The Outward Bound courses are carefully designed to support the students and improve their confidence in their abilities. The most recent residential at Ogwen Cottage in May 2024 involved 24 David Nieper pupils. Over the week, they took part in a range of outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and an overnight expedition.

After each course the young people complete a retrospective pre/post questionnaire to assess key outcomes. Ongoing evaluation shows that during the courses, the young people build their skills and behaviours in a range of areas including teamwork, building connections and individual accountability.

Bernie Brankin, Deputy Headteacher at David Nieper Academy, said: “The students involved have benefitted greatly by gaining an increase in confidence, improving communication skills, and developing resilience. Improvements have been noted both with their engagement in lessons and their general demeanor and conduct. We cannot thank Equip enough for the support and opportunities that they have given to our students.”

As well as improvements in their personal and social skills, the young people also developed an understanding of conservation and the natural environment. Since implementing the courses the academy has noted an increase in pupil premium students applying for their Duke of Edinburgh certification and views Outward Bound as an instigator for students gaining an interest in nature-based activities.

Karen Jewell, Equip Director of HR & Organisational Development, added: “We’re proud to celebrate five years of partnership with the Outward Bound Trust. Together, by supporting the David Nieper Academy each year we hope that we will inspire a new generation of young adults to discover a love and respect for nature, whilst equipping them with the skills and knowledge to find their own awe-inspiring adventures in the great outdoors.“

Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of The Outward Bound Trust, said: “Have you ever tried navigating in the mountains in the wind and rain? It’s a challenge, but much more enjoyable if you pull together as a team. Or how about sitting with your mates watching a sunset over a distant horizon? That’s a moment you’ll never forget. These are the kinds of experiences our partnership with Equip UK has unlocked at scale, and it’s my belief that the more we expose young people to them, the more they’ll learn about themselves and their role in the world. The positive impact this has made to communities in Derbyshire and beyond should not be underestimated, inspiring hundreds of young people with confidence and self-belief in an increasingly turbulent world.”

For more information on the partnership, please visit here.

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