Letterbox Club Update

Our Letterbox Programme, run in conjunction with the Booktrust and the Virtual School is in its 4th successful year. Currently there are 25 children in care across the city who are receiving this reading intervention. Due to its success in Hull, the East Riding have recently joined the programme too and we have recruited a brand new Letterbox Club Coordinator to deliver the programme in the East Riding.

We have delivered a number of successful learning experiences which aim to encourage and inspire the children to read more independently. We have been to the theatre to watch shows such as A Christmas Carol and The Wizard of Oz and have a number of Shakespeare performances to look forward to in the Summer. We were also donated a large amount of Christmas books which were then delivered to a number of children in care across the city.

If you are a school or a carer and would like to find out more about The Letterbox Club, please email a.mercer@hull.ac.uk

Learning about healthy lifestyles with HEY CU

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) is delighted to team up with NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to build upon our Healthy Lifestyles programme in schools across the city of Hull. To launch this exciting new partnership, Sue Lee, Associate Director of Communications and Engagement at NHS Hull CCG joined Luke Thornton, HEY CU’s Healthy Lifestyle Coach at Hall Road Academy, Hall Road, Hull, as the children took part in their first Healthy Lifestyles session.

The support NHS Hull CCG is providing HEY CU will enable us to provide more Hull schools and local children the opportunity to engage in our Healthy Lifestyles activities in 2018, as whole year groups take part in a four-week programme.  The children will learn about health, fitness and exercise, the importance of a healthy diet, about how the body works and how it needs to be looked after to keep it fit and strong.  Children will take part in a practical session, measuring heart rates and breathing and planning a healthy lunch by putting into practice what they have learnt to date.  The work will conclude with a session on nutrition and diet to discover how the food they eat effects energy levels and long-term health benefits.

Sue Lee, Associate Director for Communications and Engagement with NHS Hull CCG, commented: “NHS Hull CCG is passionate about supporting our city’s next generation and helping them to aspire to be the best they can be.  That is why we are delighted to team up with the Children’s University to support the valuable work they do with children to build their self-esteem and create aspirations.  We are particularly pleased to support the Healthy Lifestyles programme which helps children understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. By bringing good eating habits and physical activity directly into schools in a fun, inclusive and engaging way, we are helping to set our young people on the right road for a happy and healthy adulthood.”

Lisa Whitton of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University said, “We are delighted to welcome NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group on board to enable to us to engage over one thousand children in our Healthy Lifestyles programme over the coming year, promoting key healthy lifestyle messages to bring learning to life an in fun and creative way for all the children involved, who will leave the experience feeling energised and motivated, with a sound understanding of healthy lifestyle choices for their future.”

Hundreds of children set sail on our Humber Cruises

ABP and HEY Children’s University have worked to together to launch a series of educational cruise trips this week for over 260 children from across Hull.

The youngsters will step aboard The Yorkshire Belle from the Port of Hull and they will learn about the economic importance of the busiest estuary in the UK and its deep-rooted history.

Over four years, 1,000 primary school children have enjoyed this sea adventure and this time round they will experience views of Paull Sands and the Humber Bridge.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, said: “We hope to inspire and educate future generations with this totally unique learning experience that runs across five days.

“Staff from ABP’s marine team will ensure they have a memorable trip by exploring the city from a different perspective, and for some, it may even be their first time aboard a vessel.”

Last year, ABP’s knowledgeable pilots and coxswains supported and guided over 40,000 shipping movements in the Humber. The Humber is one of the most difficult waterways to navigate due to constantly shifting sand banks.

As well as finding their sea legs, children will be singing and writing sea shanties which will improve their literacy and creative skills.

Natasha Banke, Director of HEY Children’s University, said: “We are so grateful for the funding that ABP provides. The children learn so much from taking part and it can mean a different long term outcome because of an aspiration gained whilst taking part.

“The cruises teach the children about the geography of the Humber, the economy of the Humber Ports and about the hundreds of various job roles available at ABP.”

Sidmouth Primary Graduate from the University of Hull

For many people, the first time they experience University life is when they are in early adulthood. But for a group of lucky youngsters from Sidmouth Primary School, they got to experience what it is like to go to University at the age of 9 and 10!

The University of Hull Business School and local charity Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY) worked in partnership to provide a “day in the life” experience at the University of Hull. Marketing graduates were given the task to design an experience that would show the children what life is like as a student at the University of Hull, as well as designing a task for the children that would allow them to become “marketing students” for the day.

The children were welcomed to the Business School and were introduced to the students, hearing about their interests and studies at University. The children then went on an exciting tour of the campus, visiting places of interest such as the new Allam Medical Building, the Student Union and the famous 7th floor of the Brynmor Jones Library where they delighted at the panoramic views of Hull. They even spotted their school whilst they were up there!

Then it was time for the children to get creative with their marketing task – to design a new reusable coffee cup for students at the University. The designs included a cup that showed the flags of all of the different nationalities at the University; a cup that had a different symbol for every degree that you could study at the University; and a cup that had a secret code to crack for a free coffee.

Dylon Bennett, MA Marketing Student was impressed with the children’s work; “The creative designs by the children were bright and colourful, illustrating the day’s events, the history of the university and marketing ideas that we thought were outstanding.”

The students had the very difficult task of picking a winning design which would be printed onto a real coffee cup for the child to keep. They decided on the “secret code” cup by Aleksandra as they were very impressed that she had really thought carefully about the marketing of the cup.

With the marketing task a great success, there was only one thing left to do – graduate! The children had the honour of a visit from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, Professor Susan Lea, who wore her traditional graduation robes for the occasion. Each child, wearing their graduation cap and gowns, was presented with a graduation certificate and shook the hand of the Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Lea said “We were delighted to welcome the children from Sidmouth Primary school to The University of Hull for the day. We know how important it is to nurture the aspirations of our young people and it is wonderful that the children feel inspired to go to University as a result of their visit.”

The children ended their day with the obligatory “cap throw” outside of the Business School and were given a farewell speech by Dr Haseeb Shabbir, Subject Group Head for Marketing and Business at The University of Hull. He said “It was an absolutely delightful day for both the children and our students. We are already looking forward to working with HEY Children’s University to plan another opportunity like this for local children”

Rose James, Partnership Manager at HEY Children’s University said “We would like to thank The University of Hull for providing this fantastic experience. We now have 22 children desperate to go to University and I know some of them didn’t think it was possible for them before today”

Growing up North: How can we inspire our children to have pride in the places they live?

HEY CU is extremely proud to have contributed to the recently published Children’s Commissioner’s report, “Growing up North”. Our Director, Natasha Banke, was invited to create a blog about a topic that HEY CU is passionate about : How can we inspire children to have pride in the places they live?

How can we inspire our children to have pride in the places they live? Children must understand the history of where they are from, they need to learn about the positive role models and ambassadors from their city and finally they need to understand what educational and career opportunities there are in the cities they live in.

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) is a charity that works with schools regionally in areas of disadvantage. Children are provided with opportunities outside the classroom that make the learning that goes on at school real and relevant to their futures. HEY CU inspires children to go on to careers and educational pathways they never knew existed, and we instil the confidence to do so in them. Giving children aspiration, confidence, curiosity about the world around them and resilience is the cornerstone of the charity’s work.

HEY CU was pleased to work in partnership with Anne Longfield the Children’s Commissioner and her team to help explore the issues affecting education in Hull and East Yorkshire. Together we visited a school who had taken part in our HEY CU Ambassadors Experience as well as other HEY CU workplace Experiences. The children visited the city centre to learn about what it means to be a good ambassador for your city and school. They interviewed members of the public (with adult help) and learned about what people love about their city. The children do some research on ambassadors and then do a trail of the city using a map to find the statues of seven ambassadors from Hull. We ask the children what they know about Hull before and after the experience. The difference in children’s attitudes towards their city changes dramatically once they know and understand what a brilliant place it is to live and how many inspiring people come from Hull. 86.4% of pupils who took part in the Ambassadors Experience in 2017 said the Experience made them feel proud of their city. The Ambassadors Experience is followed up with visits to workplaces of key employers in Hull, for example, Smith & Nephew, ARCO, P&O Ferries and Associated British Ports, the Centre for Digital Innovation, GGP, British Aerospace. It’s important for children to see first-hand the jobs that they can aspire to do locally. We also facilitate visits to educational institutions to show children the variety of educational pathways that are available to them such as the UTC in Hull and the University of Hull. It is important to inspire and educate children as early in life as possible so that they can know what opportunities are available. Children can only aspire to what they know exists.

Over 5000 children a year plus 203 living in foster care take part in HEY CU experiences every year. We see the significant impact these experiences make in children’s lives. The future is as bright as our young people are and we can’t wait to see what they become in the future.

The main findings in the Growing up North report can be found here.

You can read the full Growing up North report here.

Staff from the NHS take on Annapurna for HEY CU

On the 12th February, two NHS doctors took on the huge Annapurna Circuit in Nepal to raise money for Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University.

Brags and Muthu work full time for the NHS and had no previous experience of similar adventure.

They chose to dedicate the effort towards the education and development of children from the Hull and East Yorkshire region and so chose HEY CU as the charity to support. The funds raised will go towards helping children gain a wide range life experience, raise their ambitions  and discover their strengths.

They raised a fantastic £1330 on their fundraising page and they have even more expected to come in!

The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal.The total length of the route varies between 160–230 km (100-145 mi), depending on where motor transportation is used and where the trek is ended. This trek crosses two different river valleys and encircles the Annapurna massif. The path reaches its highest point at Thorung La pass (5416m/17769 ft), touching the edge of the Tibetan plateau. The trail passes along paddy fields and into subtropical forests, several waterfalls and gigantic cliffs, and various villages. Annapurna Circuit has often been voted as the best long distance trek in the world, as it combined, in its old full form, a wide variety of climate zones from tropics at 600 m asl to the arctic at 5416 m asl at the Thorong La pass and cultural variety from Hindu villages at the low foothills to the Tibetan culture of Manang Valley and lower Mustang.

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 lisa.whitton@hull.ac.uk or call 07759 300495.”

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