Northamptonshire college students win camping equipment

Tresham College students with new camping equipment from the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Back left to right: tutor Steve Thomas, pupils Callum Falconer, Daniel Cambers, Matthew Holmes and Jason Barratt, Belinda Dickinson, of the Department of Education, and Albert Walker, of the Camping and Caravaning Club. Front left tor right: pupils Hayley Green, Mel Ferguson, Steven Reed and Warren Young and tutor Becky Prickett

Tresham College students with new camping equipment from the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Back left to right: tutor Steve Thomas, pupils Callum Falconer, Daniel Cambers, Matthew Holmes and Jason Barratt, Belinda Dickinson, of the Department of Education, and Albert Walker, of the Camping and Caravaning Club. Front left tor right: pupils Hayley Green, Mel Ferguson, Steven Reed and Warren Young and tutor Becky Prickett

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College students have beat pupils from 30 schools across the region to win hundreds of pounds of camping equipment.

Tresham College’s expanding essential skills for employment courses have received equipment for their Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions in celebration of Prince Philip’s 90th birthday and the Camping and Caravaning Club’s (CCC) 60th anniversary.

Belinda Dickinson, operations officer at the Duke of Edinburgh Award central England regional office, said: “To celebrate the Duke’s 90th birthday we wanted to give something back and we were looking for a group who is looking to expand, offers opportunities to the disadvantaged and works with those who are not in employment, education or training.

“There were over 30 applications for this equipment and Tresham was the absolute winner and met all the criteria to deserve the equipment.

“We are very happy to be giving our support to Tresham to delivering their ambitions.”

Camping equipment manufacturer Vango and CCC donated four four-man tents, four stoves, eight sleeping bags, eight sleeping mats, eight compasses, eight rucksacks and eight sets of cutlery to be used during the annual trips.

Each year about 30 of Tresham’s essential skills for employment students and partner schools Isebrook SEN College and Wren Spinney Community Special School take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

Students on the essential skills for employment courses, which are designed for students with specialist learning needs to equip them with the essential social and work skills needed for living independently and employment, welcomed the donation.

Matt Holmes, 22, of Kettering, who will begin the Gold award soon, said: “I am very excited that we have been believed in and won this equipment for our expeditions.

“The sleeping mats we have had can be hard on the back when you’re trying to sleep on the grass so the new equipment includes an air bed so we can get a good nights sleep.”

Callum Falconer, 20, of Corby, who is completing the Silver award, said: “The expeditions are very challenging. We have had a practice expedition at Overstone that was really fun but we had a lot of walking.

“I’m looking forward to using the cooking stoves at the end of the day.”

By offering the chance to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh awards it enables students to gain additional communication and team work skills that can be used to gain employment.

Roger Humphrey, head of school for essential skills for employment at Tresham, said: “We are very proud to have managed to have been awarded with this donation and it enforces our commitment for learners and staff to promote independence for our learners.”