We are a charity that raises the aspirations of children living in areas of disadvantage by providing unique learning experiences that are linked to the National Curriculum.
I served the children and families in the city of Hull both as a teacher and Headteacher for forty years, always working in challenging schools.
I was Headteacher of one of the first 20 Hull Children's University schools and the second school was also involved. This was important to me, as my background was similar to many of the children whose aspirations we work to raise – and my career reflected the impact of what is possible with encouragement, the right circumstances, influence from positive people and hard work.
I became a trustee ten years ago and was able to support the direction of the charity using my knowledge of schools and children. Five years ago, I retired from working in schools but have continued to bring my knowledge from my involvement as a trustee in two other charities and as a volunteer in a number of organisations in the city.
Children achieving as much as they are capable is possible and supporting them to believe in themselves is a combination which will enable them to be successful in life. Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University has this intention at the forefront of every decision we make, and I am proud to be a part of the experiences and opportunities we provide for children during their lives in school.
Ron Dickinson has been a trustee of HEY Children’s University for over 10 years, during this time he has also led many learning experiences . He has a passion to help the children of Hull and East Riding achieve their full potential. In his previous life he was a business owner and worked at the same company for over 35 years. “Until I got involved with the charity I had no idea of the need of so many children living in areas of deprivation. This charity is trying to change children’s aspirations, I believe with a great deal of success.”
With Board level experience at FTSE, NYSE, Not for Profits and Private Equity entities, I have a strong track record in programme and project management, change management and communication, business performance management and metrics, transformation, customer service and large-scale business readiness for organisation changes. Particular strengths in on time delivery, a master at multitasking, relationship building, communication, influencing and stakeholder management.
Regarded as a strong presence leader, with a proven track record in on-time delivery of highly complex projects and programmes I have experience in life assurance, health insurance, supply chain, media, market and financial data and regulatory businesses. I have worked for global companies in the UK and spent four years working in South Africa during troubled times. Reputed to be successful because I am happy to ‘ask the tough question’, whilst paying meticulous attention to delivery and meeting agreed goals and with sensitivity to peoples’ likely reaction to events.
These skills have been developed through a mixture of leadership and executive roles, board level exposure and from 12 years as a management consultant where I was the sole external business advisor to three global SAP implementations and a 60,000-seat global HR Workday system. Active participant and driver of diversity and inclusion at executive level.
I joined the board of trustees in July of 2019 after working with the charity on the Pilot Light programme which was funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation. I joined the board because I was impressed with how the charity was being run and the impact of it’s work. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of this amazing charity and its work.
Richard Field (Chair)
Richard has been a trustee of the charity since 2009 and chair for the last several years. He is a solicitor and partner at a regional law firm.
He has an MBA and was managing partner of his firm for ten years. His work now focuses on managing teams in larger corporate and banking transactions for clients all over the country, including those in the education and charity sectors.
Richard grew up in the area and has been interested in improving the educational opportunities for everyone for many years. He strongly believes that the more that can be done for children at early age the greater the chance of making a real difference for those that need it most.
Susan has recently joined the board of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University. She has had a successful career in investment management and worked for a high-net worth family office in London managing their equity portfolios. She has also managed several public and private equity funds which invested in start-up companies, and companies that were in the early stage of their development. Many of the management teams she supported have gone on to have great success.
Susan’s financial experience got her into thinking about how she could use her knowledge to give others the opportunity to flourish in life. Through her research, she found that everything always came back to education. She founded a charitable trust, the Chaloner Children’s Charity which focuses on funding and supporting educational programmes both in the UK and the developing world. The international programmes provide educational initiatives to children living in some of the poorest and most disadvantaged countries in the world who have limited access to a basic education. In the UK the emphasis will be to work with children’s charities who aspire to raise learning outcomes for disadvantaged children living in deprived areas by funding literacy and educational programmes.
Susan is delighted to be able to become more involved in the work of HEY CU. She is supporting the charity financially by funding a book vending machine programme. The programme will provide children who don’t own a book or have limited financial resources to own books with books of their own. Ownership of books is linked to positive educational outcomes in literacy and a greater love of reading. She lives in London and enjoys travel, hiking and photography.
Dr Andrew G D Holmes is a lecturer in the University of Hull’s School of Education. He has actively supported the work of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University for over fifteen years, initially working with the charity’s founder to develop modules for university students to work as volunteer mentors. He is an advocate for the charity’s work. Andrew teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the field of Education Studies, including research methods, contemporary and critical perspectives in education and dissertation supervision. He is a Forest School practitioner and has extensive experience of developing and implementing part-time work-based, work-related, continuing education and lifelong-learning courses with relevant and innovative assessment strategies. Andrew’s research is primarily focused on higher education assessment, surface and deep approaches to learning and pedagogy. https://www.hull.ac.uk/staff-directory/andrew-holmes
Anita is the founder of Pace, Hull’s creative communications agency. With over 30 years’ experience in marketing and communications, she is an expert in magnifying voice and influence, and managing and building reputations. The Pace team specialises in brand strategy, creative content, PR and social media and has a diverse portfolio of clients, from small start-ups to large PLCs.
In addition to running Pace, Anita sits on the advisory board of Marketing Humber, the Hull & East Yorkshire LEP Business Engagement Board and is a director of Lagoon Hull. From Hull originally, she is a passionate advocate of the city and is keen to help improve negative perceptions and drive economic growth. She supports two local charities as a trustee – Hull & East Yorkshire’s Children’s University and Hull City’s Tigers Trust. She has been with Hull & East Yorkshire’s Children’s University since 2013, actively supporting the team and promoting the work of the charity.
“I first encountered the great work of the charity as a volunteer many years ago. I could see the real difference we were making to the children – children who otherwise would never get the opportunities or life experiences we all take for granted. Having then moved away to London, I was very keen to get involved in the charity when I returned to the Hull area some years later. I therefore jumped at the chance to join the board of trustees where I do what I can to help support, inspire and raise the aspirations of disadvantaged children in our community.”
Leigh joined the Board of Trustees in 2021 on returning to her Yorkshire roots. She has over 20 years’ experience as an HR specialist. Leigh spent 14 years with KCOM plc in various positions including HR Director for its national business division. Leigh set up her own HR consultancy, Virtual HR Director Ltd, in 2009 and continues to support SME organisations in a variety of sectors including financial services, IT, hospitality and the charity sector. She deals with all aspects of HR, from recruitment and resourcing to policy development and employee relations.
Michael C. Jackson is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hull and MD of Systems Research Ltd. He graduated from Oxford University, gained an MA from Lancaster University and a PhD from Hull, and has worked in the civil service, in academia and as a consultant. Between 1999 and 2011, Mike was Dean of Hull University Business School, leading it to triple-crown accreditation. Mike has been President of the International Federation for Systems Research and the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He was editor-in-chief of Systems Research and Behavioral Science for 26 years. In 2011, Mike was awarded an OBE for services to higher education and business. In 2017 he received the Beale Medal of the UK Operational Research Society for ‘a sustained contribution over many years to the theory, practice, and philosophy of Operational Research’. In 2022, he received the Pioneer Award of the International Council on Systems Engineering for ‘the development of the foundations of systems engineering as author, educator and intellectual leader in systems thinking’. Mike is known as a key figure in the development of ‘critical systems thinking’ - a topic on which he has published ten books and over 150 articles. His latest book Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity was published by Wiley in 2019.
Ruth Truelove joined St Stephen’s Shopping Centre in 2007 following a career with Nottingham University and Hull City Council and has been actively involved with HEYCU since 2011.
Ruth initially started as a volunteer/learning mentor assisting and taking part in many of the learning experiences. In 2014, she joined the Board of Trustees and in 2017 she was appointed Finance Trustee for the charity.
She is also Vice Chair of Governors at Stepney Primary School in Hull and supports many local and charities and community groups and projects through her work at St Stephen’s shopping centre. “Through my involvement in various youth education and training initiatives, I gain satisfaction in helping to encourage our young people, inspiring them to believe in themselves and to create a positive future for all.”
“I am very proud to be associated with this amazing local charity. It is a privilege to work with all the staff at HEYCU, children and teaching staff who take part in learning experiences and the other Trustees who are all enthusiastic and passionate about raising the aspirations of young people with our unique learning experiences.Sometimes people aren’t sure about volunteering, yes, it takes up a bit of your time but you get so much out of it! It feels wonderful to make a positive difference.”