It's Great Out There

We want to inspire and enable people everywhere to join a global movement of outdoor exploration.
For those embarking on their first outdoor adventures, having the right kit is important. Those unforgettable moments are often hard to enjoy when you’re cold, wet and uncomfortable. Wearing the right clothing and equipment helps to ensure that outdoor experiences are safe and enjoyable for everyone.

That’s why we have partnered with GIFT YOUR GEAR, to collect and donate outdoor gear to organisations encouraging outdoor participation.

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GIFT YOUR GEAR supports over 1000 community organisations, youth groups and charities working in the outdoors.
Donating outdoor gear makes a real difference to these local community organisations, youth groups and charities.

As well as donating The North Face® stock, in 2017 we ran our first nationwide instore collection in the UK to encourage customers to donate their old, unwanted outdoor gear.

By extending the lifespan of used gear we can help enable others to benefit from life changing experiences outdoors, regardless of circumstances.

Find out more about some of the organisations that have benefitted from our partner with GIFT YOUR GEAR.

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Spring Brook Academy

A specialist school in the UK that caters for educating and providing amazing outcomes for young people with a huge variety of special needs.

Spring Brook is a dedicated provision for those children with social, emotional and mental health needs and has recently begun to introduce the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme into its curriculum for 14 – 16 year olds.

This is critically important for many of its pupils as many have not experienced the wonders of the countryside before let alone developed the skills to navigate across it, camp out and cook for themselves outdoors.
The scheme allows pupils to develop the skills they need for life in a different environment than in a standard classroom. Skills such as teamwork, organisation, planning, social interaction, trust and resilience are things that many pupils struggle with the most. The new outdoor education curriculum offer is a great way to develop these skills.

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Alongside the physical, skills and voluntary aspects of the award which are developed in school, pupils get to go out into the Peak District National Park for one day every week. This allows them to get out of their normal day to day environment and develop many skills that will aid them in their future.

One of the biggest hurdles Spring Brooks has encountered in setting up their outdoor education programme has been providing clothing and equipment for the pupils.

Outdoor equipment comes at a cost which is a struggle both for the disadvantaged families of the children, and for schools in general. Particularly when the academic year runs mainly through the cold wet seasons of autumn, winter and spring, quality waterproofs, walking boots, warm clothing and rucksacks are difficult to attain without spending a fortune

Thanks to generosity of The North Face® customers that donated outdoor gear in 2017, Spring Brook now has essential kit provision ready for use for their first outdoor camping expeditions due to take place in the summer of 2018

Through the work of The North Face® and GIFT YOUR GEAR, Spring Brooks is able to give its pupils unforgettable experiences, and skills for life.

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Free to Be Kids

Provides therapeutic respite breaks for children experiencing significant poverty and social, emotional and behavioural issues in London.

Free To Be Kids takes referrals from schools, local authorities, housing associations, community groups and other support services, with the aim of providing safe, nurturing, confidence building breaks for children who wouldn't otherwise have access to a holiday from home, or even a safe space to play when schools are closed for the holiday season.

51% of kids that the initiative works with are currently at risk of school exclusion or have been the subject of a social services referral in the past year. A third have a history of, or concerns around, potential abuse and neglect.

For almost 1 in 5 of the children it works with each year, the project was their first ever holiday.

All projects take place in an outdoor countryside setting with breaks lasting for 5 days. They are offered at no cost to families, with children being picked up and dropped back home at the beginning and end of their stay to ensure the whole process is as stress-free as possible. During their stay, children get a chance to have new experiences and build friendships in a safe, supportive environment.

At the heart of all the projects is a desire to make children feel special, to celebrate their successes and give them a sense of belonging.

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Free to Be Kids creates chances for children to feel brave, proud and overcome fears through adventurous activities, as well as having time to relax and play.

Having access to good outdoor equipment is vital - most of the children have little experience of the outdoors and therefore do not have appropriate waterproofs, warm outdoor clothing or footwear of their own - in fact, for many, the project is their first time seeing the sea, camping out or meeting animals up close. Engaging children in new and exciting activities in beautiful outdoor settings captures their imaginations and creates a starting point for volunteers to build positive relationships.

Free to Be Kids is a small and entirely volunteer run charity and fundraising takes up a huge amount of our time. The donation of gear from The North Face® and GIFT YOUR GEAR means savings on their equipment costs, which allow them to use the money they raise to cover other vital project costs, ultimately meaning they can provide more breaks from home for children who really need them.

“Without the clothing, tents, cooking equipment and other items that allow the activities to take place, we wouldn't be able to work in this way and would lose the opportunity for that quality of conversation and bonding”.
Rachel Nichols, Co-Founder, Free to Be Kids

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nacro

A social justice charity working across the UK to help house, educate, support, advise and speak out for and with disadvantaged young people and adults.

With over 50 years experience of changing lives, building stronger communities and reducing crime, in 2017 alone Nacro helped more than 38,000 people to turn their lives around.

Nacro’s Greater Manchester Outdoor Learning offers an all-round approach to outdoor education.
Established in 2001 as part of the Manchester Commonwealth Games Legacy, it encourages team building and improves motivation, self-esteem and behaviour through outdoor adventure activities.

The team leaders are passionate about the powerful nature of active outdoor learning and the many and far-reaching benefits for lifelong learning. The team deliver quality outdoor learning for schools, colleges, the voluntary sector and the community, working with children, young people and adults. The charity works tirelessly to support people with all their needs.

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A lack of resources means however, it cannot reach as many people as it knows it needs to. With the kit donated by The North Face® through GIFT YOUR GEAR, Nacro will be able to replenish its kit stores and provide more young people with the comfortable and safe equipment to use. The donated equipment will be stored and managed in the community kit store and will be accessible to individuals and groups to use and access over the years to come.

“As a national charity, we struggle to keep things a float to maintain our project, our mission to work with children, young people and the wider community. We depend on donations and funding to ensure we have the resources we need to do the job. The North Face and Gift Your Gear is essential to enable us to continue our work and help kit our young people when they go out into the great outdoors”.
Richard McEvoy, Outdoor Learning & Duke of Edinburgh Award Manager, Nacro

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