AMG News

24th June 2019

Bullwell Academy join Sam Sykes and
Vango in the hills

Bullwell Academy join Sam Sykes and Vango in the hills

Vango joined with Sam Sykes to support local teenagers from Bulwell Academy in Nottingham on their expedition around the Lake District for their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Vango provided the opportunity for 14 specially selected pupils of Bullwell Academy to take to the hills to complete part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s award, supplying them all with camping and hiking equipment as well as fully funding the DofE award for the teens. Sam Sykes; Vango Ambassador, British adventurer and outdoor pursuits instructor, who scaled Europe’s largest mountain by the age of 18 will be leading the group in their trip.

Vango boots
Vango nite star sleeping bag


The Academy has been chosen by the DofE to provide fully-funded places on the award scheme through Vango . Mrs Strong, Principal at Bullwell said: “We cannot thank Vango, Sam Skyes Ltd. and DofE enough for this amazing opportunity for our pupils. Here at Bulwell Academy we believe that all young people can be successful, regardless of their background. We focus on helping our students to become better learners; to increase their resilience, to raise their aspirations and prepare them for the next stages in their life. This adventure helps them to do this.

The DofE award is an important way for pupils to gain experience and build their confidence. Without support from Vango and the support from Sam Skyes Ltd. and DofE this is something our pupils may never have had the opportunity to try.

The pupils will all be provided with Vango kit to get around during the day, the pupils will use Contour rucksacks and Velan boots, and for a sound night’s sleep, they will be given Vango Halo tentsNitestar sleeping bags and Trek sleeping mats. The kit will support those that otherwise may not have had the opportunity to participate in the challenge. Working closely with the DofE, Vango kit has been designed to be easy-to-use and performance led, ideal for young explorers.

Vango Marketing Director Rob Birrell commented:

Vango are delighted to be able to partner with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and provide the kids with DofE recommended kit to take them through the first part of their award. The experience will provide them with great life skills and give them a true sense of adventure, which we are all about at Vango.

The DofE works with over 3,500 licensed organisations to run a range of activities for participants. Sam Skyes is a powerful ambassador for both DofE and Vango, his passion for the outdoors spurred him on to set up Sam Sykes Ltd. in 2009 which is a professional outdoor education company with operations across the UK and overseas.

For Sam, working on projects such as this is something that is close to his heart:

When Vango got in touch about the opportunity to run the expedition with the pupils at Bulwell I jumped at the chance. I have always been interested in exploring from the moment I was born. I believe that it is vitally important for kids to get outside and experience real adventure. The DofE award scheme offers a unique way of doing this. I am very proud to support Vango and Bulwell Academy with their expedition and look forward to sharing this great adventure with them.

Set up in 1956 by HRH Prince Philip, the DofE award scheme is a youth achievement award, which encourages young people to gain new skills and enhance their CV through activities such as hiking, camping, exploring and volunteering. In 2018, over 153,000 young people completed their own personal expedition as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Keen to attract teenagers from all backgrounds, the DofE award scheme has set up the Diamond Fund designed to support teenagers from disadvantaged communities take part in the activities.

cosy nitestar sleeping bag

For over ten years Vango has partnered with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to provide great quality products suitable for DofE expeditions and beyond, and for every item purchased, Vango will contribute to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity to help enable them to support more young people complete their DofE.

find out more about the official Vango DofE kit list.