Businesses Case Studies

Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew have been involved with the Hull Children’s University since its beginnings. At the time, one of the Managing Directors had a keen interest in the role that Hull Children’s University played in the community. Katie McGrory is currently the Central Initiatives Coordinator for Smith & Nephew in Hull and in this role, she deals with involvement with charities and local community projects. She likes the way that all the new and different opportunities offered by the charity instils confidence in children and helps give back to the community – values that Smith & Nephew absolutely share.

The Hull Children’s University has helped Smith & Nephew foster a ‘Great Place to Work’ and also gives employees the chance to use their 8 hours of volunteer time that is available each year. Many staff members do choose to donate their time to the Hull Children’s University through this scheme and then also go on to give even more of their own free time. At the moment, a number of the staff at Smith & Nephew are signed up to volunteer with the Hull Children’s University over the summer months and they even have some truly stellar volunteers, such as Mark Stockdale, who has been a key ambassador and worked extensively with Hull Children’s University over the years.

Katie would highly recommend partnering with the Hull Children’s University to any businesses considering it. The charity serves as a vital means of encouraging children to think outside the box and promoting educational equality. Not only does the work of the Hull Children’s University benefit the children it works with, it can serve as a refreshing chance for adult volunteers to do something new and give back to the community.

 Northern Gas Networks

Northern Gas Networks are one of the Hull Children’s University’s Platinum sponsors and have been hugely supportive of the charity. All of Northern Gas Networks employees are offered the opportunity to get involved and some of the charities most committed mentors come from this organisation. One of the Northern Gas Networks mentors, Charlie, drove from Newcastle to Hull to catch a 6.30 am train so he could mentor on a Night at the Museum experience; the dedication is unbelievable.

Another one of Northern Gas Networks’ star mentors is Sarah Napier. Sarah started mentoring with the Hull Children’s University in 2015 after Northern Gas Networks sent out a request for volunteer and she hasn’t looked back. Sarah’s favourite experiences have been the ones delivered by the Children in Care Programme. These experiences are sometimes better suited to mentors with full time jobs as they only usually happen on a weekend or during the school holidays. Last summer, Sarah mentored on a horse riding experience and also at a dance workshop. Sarah describes it as a privilege to have been involved with these experiences. She found it really rewarding to watch the children develop new skills, work as a team and also really look after both each other and the adults on the trip.

Sarah has found the positives of this working relationship to be endless. The chance to give back to the community, but also learn so many new things is a great opportunity for people. Moreover, to work with a charity that has a solid backing within her organisation, and knowing that there are so many other members of Northern Gas Networks invested in raising the aspirations of children in the region is wonderful.