HEYCU leader to take up new charity role

Natasha Barley, who has been at the helm of Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University since 2013, is leaving the organisation at the end of February to take on the role of chief executive at Sailors’ Children’s Society.

During Natasha’s time at HEY Children’s University the charity has worked with more than 65,000 children across the region, striving to raise their aspirations and give them the opportunities they deserve, regardless of their circumstances.

The charity offers a diverse range of experiences, from days at local businesses where they learn about career options and take part in activities, to visits to cities including London and Edinburgh.

It is funded by organisations including BBC Children in Need and the Garfield Weston Foundation and also receives generous financial support from long-standing partnerships with local businesses including Northern Gas Networks, the University of Hull and Associated British Ports.

Richard Field, HEY Children’s University’s chair of trustees, said: “Over recent years and under Natasha’s leadership the charity has moved forward in a number of important areas, not least building an excellent team of employees and volunteers, as well as long-term partnerships with our valued business supporters.

“This success has allowed us to extend our reach and the range of programmes we offer, enabling us to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands more local children every year, including hundreds of children who are in care.

“We are grateful to Natasha for her contribution and wish her all the very best for when she takes up her new role at the end of February.”

Natasha said: “I know I’m leaving HEY Children’s University in the best possible position for continued growth and success. My time at the charity has been challenging, amazing and very rewarding.

“I would like to say thank you to my fantastic team and the trustees for helping me make HEY Children’s University the charity it is today, and to the founder of the charity John Buttrick and former MP Alan Johnson for their support, encouragement, and belief in me.

“HEY Children’s University will always have a special place in my heart and I look forward to watching it continue to flourish.

“I’m excited for the new challenge that awaits me at Sailors’ Children’s Society, building on the incredible work it has been doing for over 200 years supporting seafaring families in crisis.”

Sailors’ Children’s Society (SCS) is a national charity providing support to children whose parents have worked at sea or on inland canals and rivers, whether on fishing fleets, ferries, cruise or cargo ships or in offshore industries.

Headquartered in Hull, it provides practical and financial help for families after traumatic events such as bereavement, diagnosis of a terminal illness or the breakdown of a marital relationship.

Its chairman Christopher Towne said: "Myself and the Society's trustees are delighted that Natasha will be joining the Society as our chief executive. She brings a wealth of experience in running a very successful children's charity.

"The Society is hoping that using her wide range of contact Natasha will be able to form a wide range of partnerships with local and national children's charities to develop best practice in supporting children in need."