Inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs with C4DI

The Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) in Hull has teamed up with our charity to help inspire children from disadvantaged areas of the city with the opportunity to work in technology.
Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University brought around 20 children from non-privileged backgrounds to the city tech hub to hopefully inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The event saw a host of businesses in the technology hub working with the enthusiastic students from schools across Hull including Collingwood primary school, Thoresby primary school, St Anthony’s catholic primary school; Thorpepark academy, Craven primary academy, Stepney primary school, St James’ primary school, Woodlands primary school and Oldfleet primary school.

Children worked with the creators of welfare gadget Moodbeam, the leading provider of services to independent record labels Label Worx and used 3D printers with entrepreneur Alex Youden, as well as other businesses.

John Connolly, managing director of C4DI, listened to pitches from the pupils of technology to help them get up early and prepare for school in the morning. Mr Connolly said he was impressed with the pupils engagement and hoped it highlighted how they can forge a pioneering career in technology without leaving Hull.

He said: “They were told to come up with different ideas and I was really impressed by how creative they are. “They have a really interesting way of thinking, and some of them already have an incredible knowledge for their age.

“They are really engaged, and it’s important that they know they can turn that interest into a career in Hull. We want children to know the incredible opportunities available in the city, and the best way to do that is to get hands-on.

“We wanted to show them the work that we do and open their eyes to some of the opportunities available. The reaction has been brilliant.”
Natasha Barley, director of the charity which works with businesses to reach more children in Hull and East Yorkshire, said she was keen to show children already interested in technology, the opportunities available locally.

“We asked the schools to select children who are interested in technology and sciences, because many are interested and skilled but don’t know all the opportunities available her”, she said.

“We want them to see what they can achieve here and how they can be successful. It’s not just knowledge, but they have also seen the importance of creativity and how you important that can be for your career.

“Working with the businesses, they have seen first-hand what it’s like and they’ve loved it. They got to see 3D printers at work and use the electronic DJ decks at Labelworx. It seems to have really inspired them.

“We hope the story will encourage more local businesses to inspire children to think about the world of work.”

Any other businesses who would be keen to get involved with Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University can contact Natasha on 01482 466045.

SOURCE: Hull Daily Mail

IMAGE: Katie Pugh


ERYC Communications Experience

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University teamed up with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to offer pupils from New Pasture Lane School in Bridlington an exciting insight into the world of communications and media.

The children were trained by staff from the press office and marketing teams to be junior reporters, photographers and videographers for the day at Bridlington Spa before being challenged to interview cast and crew from a BBC panto being performed at the venue.

Their words, images and video were then used to promote the fundraising panto on the Spa’s social media channels as part of a HEY Children’s University communications take-over.

The children received a grand tour of Bridlington Spa, describing it as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” as they visited stars’ dressing rooms, went back-stage and on-stage, visited the kitchens and heard about the building’s history and interesting stories.

After lunch, the children were split into groups and tasked with preparing interesting questions for their upcoming interviews with the cast and crew of the BBC panto. They had to think about where they wanted to film the interviews and what props and poses they might need for the photo shoot.

As part of the experience, the children also met the reporter from the Bridlington Free Press and photographer, and were interviewed by BBC Radio Humberside by presenter Andy Comfort for his afternoon show and found out about what they’ve been learning during the morning’s workshops. The children were thrilled at the prospect of being on radio and joked about the tough questions they will be asking him next.

To make the experience as real, the children had to meet deadlines to put their social media posts together. Children decided upon their words, images and video footage.

At the end of the experience the junior reporters were rewarded for all their hard work with the presentation of certificates to certify them as “communications experts”. They departed to a thoroughly deserved round of applause from the council, Children’s University and school staff and volunteers. Well done to all involved!

Our Director Meets The Queen!

Our very own Director, Natasha Barley, had the great honour of meeting Her Majesty The Queen last week.  Canadian-born Natasha  attended a reception at Buckingham Palace on the 14th of February at the invitation of Her Majesty. The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, hosted the reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the achievements of the Commonwealth Diaspora community. The reception offered an opportunity to recognise people of Commonwealth heritage who have made a positive contribution to business, community and culture in the United Kingdom.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall  also attended the reception and had the chance to meet some the incredible people from across the Commonwealth who have been successful in areas such as business, politics, the arts, sport, diplomacy, religion, charities, youth and community groups.

As Director of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, Natasha has made significant contributions to the charity. Since coming into post four and a half years ago, the charity has grown from working with 1800 children a year to over 6000 a year. The team has grown from four to thirteen and the charity now also runs a robust care programme supporting children living in foster care.

Natasha Barley said “It was an absolute privilege to represent my Canadian homeland and Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University at the reception at Buckingham Palace. Having Her Majesty the Queen’s recognition of our charitable work is incredible. I have a fantastic team at HEY CU and amazing businesses that support our work and they were all very excited about this phenomenal opportunity for the charity.”

Whilst at the reception Mrs. Barley also spent time speaking to Prime Minister Theresa May and Boris Johnson, Secretary of State and Commonwealth Affairs.

Mrs Barley commented “Being from a Commonwealth country means a lot to me. I’ve always held Her majesty the Queen in high regard and respected her authority as the Head of the Commonwealth. Being from Canada I always felt a strong tie with the rest of the Commonwealth but particularly England and the monarchy.”

The Commonwealth is an international organisation, spanning every geographic region, religion and culture. During Her Majesty’s reign the organisation has grown from just seven nations to 53 members and now represents over 2.4 billion people.

The Queen has been Head of the Commonwealth throughout her 65 year reign, and while visiting South Africa on her 21st birthday, Her Majesty declared that ” that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted” to the Commonwealth.

The reception is part of the run up to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is being hosted by The Queen in April.

Constructing a World of Opportunities

Children from Hilderthorpe Primary School in Bridlington were the first to take part in a brand-new Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University experience, thanks to the support of West Building Supplies and East Riding College.

Pupils from Year 6 were invited to be part of the ‘Building for the Future Experience’ giving children an insight into the construction industry and the wide variety of jobs available. 

The children thoroughly enjoyed the day as they discovered lots of new skills and tried their hand at joinery, bricklaying, plumbing, electrical and design.  The activities were engaging, providing the children with a truly immersive experience and they now view the construction industry in a new light having met some incredible role models along the way.

Richard Price, Director of West Building Supplies, gave an input into the company talking about the supply chain, company values, and the number of careers available in the construction industry from a supplier’s perspective, displaying the sheer breadth of the industry.

Richard said “West Building Supplies are delighted to be part of and support the HEY Children’s University which helps provide a fantastic opportunity for young children in the local community to experience, in this case, an insight into the construction industry from all aspects from supply to manufacture. Hopefully, this experience will help inspire the children to achieve great things in their future.”

Jamie Baxter, Deputy Headteacher of Hilderthorpe Primary School, said “We would like to thank HEY Children’s University, West Building Supplies and East Riding College for such a well-organised event that all pupils enjoyed. The “Building for the Future Experience” provided pupils with an insight into the types of careers available in the construction industry. The activities pupils took part in were fun and engaging. It has really raised the aspirations of pupils and many stated that they could see themselves working towards a career in construction.  At Hilderthorpe Primary School we work hard to promote pupil’s future aspirations, so this experience was perfect and we look forward to taking part next year!”

Lisa Whitton, East Riding Manager of HEY Children’s University, said “We expanded Children’s University into the East Riding of Yorkshire in September 2016 to raise the aspirations of local children and open their eyes to the career opportunities available, both locally and further afield. Our experiences link the world of work to and work in school to bring classroom learning to life, and illustrate if children work hard in school now, they can achieve their dream job in the future.  This exciting new “Building for the Future Experience” has given the children at Hilderthorpe an opportunity to experience what it would be like to go to college, meeting lecturers and learning how apprenticeships and further education can lead to future careers within construction. Also, meeting Richard from West Building Supplies and hearing how their industry supports construction illustrated the range of career paths available in this field. ”

Lisa continued, “If you are a local business who would like to become involved in our work in the East Riding of Yorkshire, contact me or call 07759 300495.”

Magical funds raised on Harry Potter Day!

In February, children from 5 local primary schools received something VERY exciting – a letter from Hogwarts!

The letter invited children to attend a day of spells and magic at their school and they were instructed to come in their best Howarts attire.

Each child brought in a £1 donation for the Ministry of Magic’s chosen charity – HEY Children’s University.

Our very own Professor McGonnegal jumped on her broom and paid a visit to every school to see some of their magical lessons and give prizes for the best dressed. Children enjoyed potions lessons, wrote their own spells and even ate special Hogwarts food!

The day raised a fantastic total of £568.96!

Thank you to Newington Academy, Marfleet Primary, St Anthony’s Catholic Primary, Oldfleet Primary and Barmby Moor Primary for taking part.

If you’re school would like to hold a Harry Potter Day please get in touch!

Budding Designers Open Exhibition #DareToBeDifferent

From 11am on Saturday 10th February, at the Brodrick Gallery of Hull School of Art and Design, Queens Gardens, Hull, children and their families from four primary schools across the city will be the first to proudly see their own artwork on display at a private viewing of an exciting new exhibition.

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) teamed up with the Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD), to challenge children to #DareToBeDifferent and take part in a brand-new Hoody Creative Challenge. Children were set the task of illustrating their favourite memories from 2017, and the winning entries from each school’s year group have been printed onto hoodies, enabling members of the public, families, and friends to vote for their favourite design over the coming month.

The four schools who took part in the competition include, Craven Primary School, Dorchester Primary School, St Anthony’s Primary School, and Rokeby Primary School, who collectively submitted over 250 entries.

Natasha Barley, Director of HEY CU said, “Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University provides children with unique experiences that allow them to discover and then show their talents. At HEY CU we are passionate about raising the confidence and aspirations of children across Hull and East Yorkshire, providing them with experiences and opportunities to open their eyes to the world around them and discover the world of work. Careers in creative industries such as fashion design is something we want children to be aware of and then possibly pursue. The children have loved taking part in this competition, we’ve seen some brilliant entries with incredible stories behind them, giving children an opportunity to express themselves through art”.

Lynn Benson, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Fashion at HSAD said, “It has been extremely enjoyable speaking to young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable primary school children, who listened intently as I spoke about designing a hoody and the challenges of creating images of their best memories for 2017, resulting in an amazing diversity of responses from highly motivated young people. The designs submitted are fun, realistic and have a feel-good factor.  All of the children rose to the challenge of creating realistic designs and should be really proud of themselves.”

The exhibition will open to the public on 12th February until 2nd March 2018 from 10am until 4pm.

ABP become Silver Partners

ABP’s Port of Hull has donated thousands to enable hundreds of underprivileged children to experience unique educational trips.

ABP has donated £5000 and has become official Silver Partners of HEY CU.

This has enabled local disadvantaged children to take part in unique experiences including being an astronaut for the day and a tour of London.

ABP already has established ties with the charity as last year it provided several port tours, a special tracked container was launched so children can learn about trade and children attended several ABP events including a special festive express train to London.

Humber Director, Simon Bird, said: “We feel it’s important to inspire and educate youngsters as they are the future generation that will keep Britain trading.

“We hope our close links will influence them to consider the port industry as a future career as there are over 200 different job roles in the Humber ports ranging from accountants, to operations and pilots.”

During the next three months children from the charity will take a private tour of the pop-up historical gallery at the port’s Grade-II listed pump house building.

Rosanna James, Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University Partnership Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful for ABP’s ongoing support and we love working with all of their fantastic staff.

“The visits to the port help raise the children’s aspirations and show them what an important city they live in. We are proud to have ABP as an official partner and with their support we can inspire even more disadvantaged children in the city.”

Vacancy: Children in Care Letterbox Club Coordinator (East Riding)

Children in Care (CIC) Letterbox Club Coordinator (East Riding)

Contract 2 years (possibility for renewal depending on funding streams)
Full time
Salary £21,000 PA
Employment start date: 3rd April 2018

Job Summary

Are you a fully qualified primary school teacher looking for a change in career but still have a passion for working with children? Do you love to read and love reading with children? Do you love working with young people and want them to have the best possible outcomes academically and personally? If you answered yes to these questions then we might be right for you and you might be right for us.

Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University is a progressive independent charity based at the University of Hull. Due to an award of grant funding, we are recruiting a Letter Box Coordinator to run our Letter Box Club in the East Riding of Yorkshire with 25 children in care for two years and possibly longer depending on funding streams. The Letterbox Coordinator will work in partnership with the East Riding Council Children in Care (CIC) team and schools across the East Riding to deliver this award-winning intervention scheme, which was developed by the Book Trust.

The Letterbox Coordinator will provide children with one to one reading sessions (during school hours) utilising the materials provided in the Book Trust parcels which are delivered every month. You will also organise and deliver learning experiences for the children in your programme during the term breaks and summer holidays. Our programme is holistic and focuses of children’s social and emotional development as well as academic achievement, particularly focusing on their ability to read. You will need to assess the children’s reading age and provide periodic progress reports.

You must be a fun, smiley and approachable person whom children respond well to. You must be patient, organised and creative in your approach to teaching. Flexibility is a must as occasionally some weekend and evening work will be required.

Essential Criteria (summary)

  •  Fully qualified teacher (QTS)
  •  A passion for reading
  •  Full UK driving licence and access to own vehicle
  •  Fully flexible (must be able to work some weekends and evenings)
  •  Experience in assessing
  •  Experience working in partnership across several different services reading
  •  Experience working with vulnerable young people

Desirable Criteria (summary)

  •  Experience working with Children in Care

**Please see below for detailed job description and person specification**

Special Requirements

Due to this job involving working with children and young people, the successful candidate will be required to complete an enhanced disclosure DBS check. Along with, providing two references, one being from the manager at their current or most recent place of employment.

Application Closes: February 2nd 2018

Interviews Held: February 10th, February 14th (3 Part Interview process)

To apply for this role, please email your CV and a covering letter to or post to Natasha Barley, 65 Salmon Grove, Hull, HU6 7SZ.



1. Strategic Direction

· Deliver the HEYCU CIC service ensuring that children in care have equal access to activities, trips and visits designed to support their personal, social, and emotional development

· Build positive and effective relationships with vulnerable children in the looked after system based on a foundation of trust and respect

· Raise the profile of the HEYCU CIC service ensuring that the aims and objectives of the service are widely known and understood

· Working through the POD Coordinators develop an effective strategy to identify, target and engage children in the care system

· Build positive and effective relationships with schools across the city engaging children in learning activities that support their education

· Work with children individually or in groups ensuring that activities cater for their individual and collective needs and that all children have equal access

·Share information as appropriate with social workers, schools and other support workers to ensure a seamless support is in place.

· Assess children’s reading ages

· Deliver Letterbox parcels to 25 children in care and provide one to one reading sessions utilising the parcels

·Oversee assessment and evaluation of the programme and write reports

· Able to work some evenings and weekends when required

2. Partnerships

· Act as a positive ambassador for HEY CU at all times using every opportunity to positively promote the service

· Develop and maintain committed, positive and effective relationships with Hull City Council, social worker teams, schools, residential care homes and mentors to strengthen the sustainability of HEYCU CIC programme long term

3. Quality

· Ensure the CIC service is of the highest quality monitoring children and adults feedback forms and continually improving the service in response.

· Follow internal procedures for planning and booking activities and events ensuring risk assessment and evaluations are fully completed and that all data is captured accurately

· Operate within national and local frameworks including Data Protection, Equal Opportunities, etc and apply HEYCU policies and procedures across the service

·Follow Safeguarding policies and procedures rigorously and ensure that all mentors follow the same policies and procedures

4. Staff

· Work as part of a team supporting colleagues to ensure a professional and effective service

· Support volunteers and tutors to help them deliver effective quality programmes that reflect the ethos of HEYCU and positively promote the service

5. Budget

· Operate within an agreed annual budget ensuring the HEYCU CIC service is cost effective and achieves all outputs and outcomes within budget

· Work within internal finance systems to effectively monitor spend and to meet audit requirements

Qualifications and Skills


Codes: AF = Application Form, I = Interview, R = References

1. Qualifications:


Teaching degree primary school (QTS)


Evidence of continuing professional development and/or membership of a professional body.


Drivers licence and car insurance to use vehicle for work


2. Relevant Experience:


Experience working in partnership across several different services


Experience of developing and delivering innovative education or youth development programme outside of a classroom setting


Experience of working with vulnerable and disadvantaged children and building trusting but professional relationships


3. Skills


The ability to develop and promote HEY CU CIC service across the city and secure support from city wide stakeholders


Ability and confidence to manage, motivate, supervise and develop mentors to support looked after children


The ability to develop positive and productive partnerships Hull City Council, social care teams, schools, business and other stakeholder services across the city.


Experience managing a budget


4. Knowledge


Knowledge of professional practice when working with children


Up to date knowledge of safeguarding policies and procedures


General knowledge of generic policies around health and safety, data protection etc and how to apply and test these in the work place



Understanding of systems to manage and report performance


5. Interpersonal/Communication Skills:


Verbal Skills

Ability to establish professional and effective working relationships with a range of partners, companies and sponsors and a Board of Trustees


Good communication and interpersonal skills. Clearly spoken with good telephone and face-to-face communications

I, R

Good presentation skills

I, R

Can demonstrate influencing, caring, advocacy and negotiating skills

I, R

Written Skills

Able to produce clear and concise reports for a variety of audiences

I, R

Competent in the use of IT systems including Microsoft and internet

I, R

Get your 2018 calendar – Designed by the children of Hull!

Proud Hullensians can snap up some original artwork which celebrates their home city.

Leeds Building Society challenged local school children to create a design which showed what they love about Hull and the winning drawings, paintings and collages have been turned into a charity calendar.

The 2018 calendar is raising funds for Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University.

The winners, who range in age from four to 11, collected their prizes at a VIP viewing at Hull Paragon railway station, managed by train company TransPennine Express, where their designs are gracing the concourse over the coming weeks.

“The calendar has landmarks including the Humber Bridge and the Maritime Museum, and it was difficult to pick the winners from so many lovely pictures,” said Denise Woodall, the manager of Leeds Building Society’s Hull branch.

“We’re thrilled TransPennine Express offered to display the artwork at Hull Paragon station so it can be seen and enjoyed by thousands of people every day.

”We hope they’ll pop round to our branch in Paragon Street and buy a calendar to take home and brighten up their kitchen, hall or office.”

David Hatfield, Station Manager at Hull for TransPennine Express, commented: “We are thrilled that the station is playing host to these wonderful works of art created by our young people.

“I would encourage people to come along to the station and see the colourful designs for themselves.”

Rose James, Partnership Manager of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, explained where the funds raised from the calendar would be used.

She said: “Leeds Building Society in Hull is raising money for our charity so that a group of children can visit London for a day that they will never forget. We are extremely grateful to them for fundraising for us and we think the calendars look fantastic!”

The calendar costs £5.99 and is on sale now from Leeds Building Society, 78 Paragon Street, Hull HU1 3PW. All proceeds go to charity.

2017- A Fantastic Year for HEY CU

2017 has been such a great year for our charity and has been our busiest yet!

We have won awards, including a Weston Charity Award which granted us acceptance on the Pilotlight Programme. This programme paired us with highly respected business experts who offer advice and support with the strategic direction of the charity.

We have had two of our volunteers, Mark Stockdale and Ruth Truelove, receive British Empire Medals for their services to education and our founder Dr. John Buttrick received an MBE at Buckingham Palace. Another of our volunteers won Volunteer of the Year at the Hull Daily Mail Golden Apple Awards.

In November, our Director Natasha and Partnership Manager Rose had the honour and privilege of having lunch with Her Majesty the Queen during her visit to Hull.

We were lucky enough to have three projects funded by Hull 2017.  Our Song for Hull project with the NHS choir and our Children in Care Visual Celebration event were both funded by the Creative Communities grants. Our Digitull project was funded by the No Limits programme and meant that every child in the city had the chance to engage in the City of Culture celebrations.

We also ran two additional City of Culture projects with the support of local businesses. Arco supported our BBC Reporters project which saw children become official BBC correspondents for the Hull 2017 events. ABP funded the “I Love Hull” Container Project which gave local children the opportunity to have their artwork printed on a container that will embark on a trackable journey around the globe.

We also released our very first Christmas single which has reached over 60,000 people!

Even though we have been so very busy, we have still managed to reach 6,000 local children this year and we hope to reach even more children in 2018.

We would like to thank our trustees, tutors, volunteers, partners, donors and friends for all of your support this year.

We wish you all a fantastic 2018!

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