Lunch with Her Majesty The Queen!

On Thursday 16th November, HEY Children’s University Director Natasha Barley and Partnership Manager Rose James had the honour of attending a private luncheon with Her Majesty The Queen as part of her visit to Hull.

The luncheon was held at The University of Hull with a small selection of guests and Natasha and Rose were lucky enough to be invited to attend. The guests and Her Majesty enjoyed a pork terrine starter, lamb loin main and miniature apple pie dessert, all prepared by the University’s fantastic catering team.

HEY CU Director Natasha said “Being invited by Her Majesty the Queen to attend a private lunch at the University is one of the highlights of my career. It is also fantastic validation that the work we are doing is important and valued by the monarchy. I don’t think you can get a better accolade.”

Partnership Manager Rose had written a letter to Her Majesty over a year ago to tell her all about our Ambassadors of Hull Experience, in which she is hailed as the ultimate ambassador. Her Majesty sent a detailed reply stating that she had read the letter with great interest and would love to hear more should she visit Hull in it’s year as City of Culture.

“We were very excited to receive such a detailed reply from Her Majesty The Queen” Rose said “But we never could have imagined that we would be invited to attend a lunch with her! It was completely surreal and utterly wonderful to be sat eating lunch so close to The Queen. We are incredibly proud of the work we do and to get this recognition is incredible for the charity”

Lunch with Her Majesty come just weeks after HEY Children’s University Founder Dr John Buttrick received his MBE at Buckingham Palace and this week two of our volunteers Mark Stockdale and Ruth Truelove will be presented with their British Empire Medals (BEM) at Burton Agnes Hall.

Container Project

A shipping container decorated with art designed by local children is due to set off on its worldwide journey today after being officially launched by ABP, Samskip and Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University.

The project commenced earlier this year as part of ABP Humber’s partnership and ongoing support of the charity, Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University and the City of Culture 2017.

Pupils from thirty-five local schools took part in a competition where classes were asked to explain why they love Hull by writing a poem or a story. These entries were judged and the ten winning classes then had the opportunity to come on a HEY CU experience sponsored by ABP and draw or digitally master a piece of artwork which they were able to submit to ABP for judging.

The ten winning images were then printed on to sheeting which wrapped the container, kindly donated by global logistics company, Samskip.

The container competition sparked the interest of local children who will be able to track the decorated container around the world. By watching where in the world the container travels, the project aims to increase the children’s understanding of trade and will in turn, show them how the Port of Hull is pivotal in the journey of goods travelling to and from the UK.

Simon Bird, Regional Director for ABP Humber said: “The opportunity to ease children into learning about our local economy, the transportation of goods and the importance of their region when it comes to trade is one not to be missed. We have an obligation to help our younger generations learn about the possible effects of Brexit but to also show them how the Humber region is succeeding in these times of unrest.”

Natasha Banke, Director of Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University said: “We have an amazing partnership with ABP that allows us to teach children about the ports and the pivotal role they play not only in the local economy but the country as a whole. There are so many job opportunities at the ports and working in partnership with ABP allows us to inspire children to think about pursuing careers in shipping, supply chain and logistics to name a few. ABP’s commitment to inspiring local children is outstanding.“


Beerhouse Self Drive Hire take on the Lyke Wake Walk for HEY CU

On Saturday 27th May 2017 Beerhouse Self Drive Hire & Minstergate took on the Lyke Wake Walk to raise money for HEY Children’s University and St Catherine’s Hospice. 22 hrs later they completed it!

It was a great experience and everybody showed great team spirit in helping and encouraging each other to continue when spirits were low!

Over the course of the walk, the team split into three groups, with the first group coming in on 18 hrs (Katie & Grant) the second group on 19hrs (Nat, Chloe, Ryan & Lisa) and the Third group on 22 hrs, completing the

last 2 miles in their flip flops! (Sarah, Lucy, Beckie, Ness, John & Phil)

There were three casualties along the way and, as determined as they were to continue, they made the very tough decision to stop the walk.

Everyone agreed that this was the hardest challenge they had done, by far.  But as tough and brutal as it was, the sense of achievement when completing it was worth all the pain!

Phil Moses, Director at Beerhouse Self Drive, said “This was a great experience and we all feel a great sense of achievement. To say that not all of the team knew each other before the walk, it was great to see so many each other when they were feeling low. Well done all!”

The team raised an amazing £3000 to be split between both charities. The £1500 raised for HEY Children’s University will fund the train tickets for a class of children to take a trip to London with us.

Thank you so much to Beerhouse Self Drive!


Running a Head of the Curve

Every year, Hull Children’s University are lucky enough to have supporters take part in various challenges to raise money for us. Charity runs have proved to be one of the most popular ways to raise funds and last year over £3000 was raised just from these runs alone.

We currently work with 46 local primary schools and one of the schools that we work regularly with is Oldfleet Primary school in East Hull.

The Headteacher at Oldfleet Primary, Andy Conlon,  has taken on the great task of completing not one, but three charity runs to raise money for Hull Children’s University.

Working in Education for 30 years, Andy has seen the work that Hull Children’s University does, and the impact that it has on the children, first hand:

“I wanted to support the Children’s University simply because the organisation does so much fantastic work on behalf of the children of Hull. We accept their support in so many ways, so it only seems fair that we give something in return. A fundraising event also helps to promote the work that Hull Children’s University does to an audience who might not be aware of who they are.”

Rose James, Partnership Manager of Hull Children’s University, explained the difference that Andy’s fundraising efforts will make to the charity’s work:

“We are so very grateful to Andy for choosing to fundraise for us. Three runs in just 4 months is a huge challenge to take on and we cannot thank him enough for his support. Every £100 raised will allow us to deliver a local experience for a whole class of children, so it will make a great difference to local children who need our help.”

Andy has already completed the Hull 10K and Humber Bridge Half Marathon and will be taking on the Hull Marathon on the 24th of September this year. He is aiming to complete the three runs in a combined time of just 8 hours and 45 minutes.

He has always been a keen runner and although he has had a few breaks from it, the “buzz” he gets from running always makes him return.

He said “I believe in keeping fit.  I believe that physical fitness raises your self-esteem and can be a driver for improvement”.

He regularly runs as part of East Hull Fit Mums and Friends and also the Hull Park Run every Saturday morning.

Being extremely competitive means that Andy is always striving to improve his Personal Best, but he admits this doesn’t always go to plan:

“For the Hull 10K I aimed for 60 minutes and finished in 62 minutes. However, it was scorching hot!”

Those extra two minutes didn’t faze Andy though, and the Humber Bridge Half Marathon was an absolute triumph with him finishing the course in 2 hours and 16 minutes – 14 minutes faster than his target:

“This was my quickest half marathon time since 2011! This means that I am 12 minutes inside my target time for all three!”

On the 24th September, Andy will be taking on the final run in this challenge, The Hull Marathon and he is particularly looking forward to the grand finish inside the KCOM stadium!

Andy would like to raise as much money as possible for Hull Children’s University. You can support him by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page here:

William’s Den names HEY CU as their charity of the year!

William’s Den, the children’s play adventure near North Cave, has chosen The Children’s University as its official charity partner for 2017.

Believed to be the UK’s largest-ever indoor timber play experience, William’s Den is described by owners Christian and Tor Carver as a ‘nostalgic nod to a bygone era of child’s play’.

Rosanna James from Hull Children’s University comments: “Children can only aspire to what they know exists and celebrating learning is at the heart of everything we do. We’re delighted to be working with William’s Den to offer some really exciting days out for local children in 2017 and 2018.”

Tor Carver, co-founder at William’s Den, says: “Each year we will be selecting an appropriate charity partner at William’s Den and the work of Hull Children’s University is just amazing. With 2017 being the year of our launch, we wanted to work with a charity to help those in need locally. We’re looking forward to helping with the fundraising efforts this year.”

William’s Den includes a 475sqm play barn and outdoor play spanning over 10,000 m2 – including a 50metre zip wire, den making area and ‘mountains and molehills’ space for kids to run, jump and roll around freely.

William’s Den will also have an indoor play adventure including a stream, rainmaker water cascade, unique climbing structures, nets, treehouse and bridges.

Families will also enjoy a stunning restaurant serving wood fired pizzas in a lovingly restored brick barn, with an ice cream parlour and barista served coffees. A free play area for toddlers will be accessible from the coffee zone.

William’s Den have already raised over £1200 for HEY CU by inventing a very special rainbow ice cream in which all proceeds were donated to us. More fundraising activities will be taking place over the course of the year.

VACANCY: Finance Manager (1 Day)

Finance Manager – Part time -7.5 hours per week (over 1 day) £4,000 PA

Closing date: 28th July 2017

Interviews: WB 7th August 2017

Must be available to start 21st August 2017

Fixed term contract for one year with the potential for renewal.

Hull Children’s University aims to raise the aspirations of children in Hull and the East Riding by providing unique and educational experiences which broaden horizons and support learning. Due to the continued growth of the charity, we are now looking for a highly motivated and skilled Finance Manager.

The successful candidate will ensure the efficient and effective administration of Hull Children’s University’s finance tasks.

Duties will include

  • Payroll administration
  • Issuing invoices
  • Paying bills
  • Effective monitoring of financial incomings and outgoings
  • Chasing outstanding invoices
  • Banking
  • Updating accounts on Quickbooks
  • Producing financial reports
  • Filing, photocopying and printing
  • Reconciling accounts
  • Taking telephone messages if administrator is unavailable

Personal Requirements:


  • Ability to manage and administer Payroll & Pensions
  • A good knowledge of Quickbooks (you will be asked to demonstrate this at interview)
  • Experience in a financial management role
  • Excellent administration skills
  • Excellent IT skills, including Excel and Word
  • Ability to plan workload and organise time effectively
  • Flexibility



  • Previous experience in the charity or education sector


Special Requirements 

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

To apply for this role, please email your CV and a covering letter to Natasha at


The Queen Honours Hull Children’s University Staff and Volunteers

Friday 16th June was a day to remember for Hull Children’s University as we saw not one, not two, but three of our friends named in the Queens Birthday Honours! Staff and volunteers from Hull Children’s University made up three of the eight honours given in East Yorkshire.

Dr John Buttrick, Founder and former Director of Hull Children‘s University has received an MBE for his services to children in Hull after being nominated by Hull Children’s University and our  supporters.

Mark Stockdale, our longest-serving volunteer and tutor received a BEM for services to education after being nominated by St Anthony’s Primary School.

Trustee and volunteer at Hull Children’s University, Ruth Truelove, was also awarded a BEM for service to education for her work as a reading assistant and governor at Stepney Primary School, Hull, and as a volunteer for the National Literacy Trust.

We are so proud of John, Mark and Ruth and feel very lucky to have them as part of our charity. Congratulations!


Hull Children’s University Receive a Weston Charity Award

On Wednesday 14th June, Partnership Manager Rose James and Trustee Mike Jackson travelled to Think Tank in Birmingham to be presented with a Weston Charity Award from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Hull Children’s University are one of 17 lucky small charities to have been selected from hundreds of applicants and will take part in the year-long programme, supported by Pilotlight, in which we will receive one-to-one support from some of the countries top business professionals. These professionals help charities to plan for sustainability, development and growth so that they finish the process stronger, more effective and fit for the future.

Aswell as the fantastic support that we will receive over the year from Pilotlight, we also received a grant of £6,500 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

We are extremely excited to be a recipient of a Weston Award and we are very much looking forward to working with out “Pilotlighters” to help our charity grow.

To find our more about the Weston Charity Awards visit

To find out more about Pilotlight visit



Lots of Laughs with Lucy Beaumont

Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? To get to the bottom.

This and other comedic gems were unleashed today as youngsters tried to impress Lucy Beaumont with their best jokes as the Hull comedian dropped in to KCOM’s Learning Zone to surprise Year 3 and 4 children from Ings Primary School who were on our Ambassadors of Hull Experience.

As well as talking about her life as an award winning comedian, Lucy also took questions from the youngsters which she said was a lot more fun than “trying to make a pub full of drunk people laugh”.

She said: “It’s wonderful to be thought of as an ambassador for Hull because I’m really proud of my home city.

“I think the best advice I can give to the kids is to believe in yourself and enjoy what to do.

“Don’t feel silly about what you want to be, follow your dreams and you can be whatever you want to be.”

Answering questions from the Ings Primary youngsters Lucy revealed she became a comedian because “I’m not very good at anything else”, that she wishes she’d tried harder at sport at school, that her favourite place in Hull is the Marina and that she has met both One Direction and Ed Sheeran.

She also revealed her secret for writing good jokes.

“The one way to tell if something is funny or not is to go and tell someone and, if they laugh, you know it’s funny,” she said: “And if they don’t you go and cry somewhere.”

Lucy, who recently had a baby daughter called Elsie Josephine with her husband Jon Richardson, also asked the youngsters if they liked their siblings and whether she should give Elsie a baby brother or sister or “let Elsie be an only child.”

The general consensus was brothers and sisters are a good thing.

Year 4 pupil Scarlett Sylvester, eight, said she had loved meeting the Hull-born star.

She said: “It was great because I’ve never met anyone famous before and she answered all our questions and was really nice. I want to be a comedian when I grow up.”

Lucie Route, seven, added: “It was nice because she told us about her life and helped us figure out things. She is funny.”



BBQ for HCU!

Have a BBQ and raise money to help local children! All you need to do is ask your guests to pop some money into a bucket (we recommend about as much as you would spend on lunch out somewhere) and you take care of the BBQ! Once you have had your BBQ you can send the amount raised via our Virgin Money Giving Page Or drop it into the office. Whoever raises the most by the end of summer will win a brand new BBQ!

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