Virtual Experiences Before Back to School!

Last week, we received a lovely email telling us that our virtual experience resources had been really useful and thoroughly enjoyed by two young boys named Luke (9) and Ben (7).

These resources prompted Luke and Ben to do some research to see if they could find even more virtual experiences to share with other children. They came across the following site and wanted to “pay it forward” and let other children have the chance to take part in them too:

We would like to say a big thank you to Luke and Ben for finding these resources and we hope that lots of children get to enjoy the fantastic virtual experiences on offer!

VACANCY: Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Coach (8 hours a week)

HEY Children’s University Lifestyle Coach

HEY Children’s University is a charity that aims to raise the aspirations, wellbeing and resilience of children living in the most disadvantaged areas of Hull and the East Riding.

We are recruiting for a Lifestyle Coach to deliver Fitness and Healthy Lifestyles sessions in our primary schools. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is passionate about health and fitness and would like to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of children in Hull.

The role is term time only, for one day a week (preferably Fridays). The successful candidate will deliver the sessions in a maximum of 2 schools in a day and will design a programme that will be delivered over a 4 week period for each school group.

Applications with a covering letter to be sent to Please note that we will not shortlist applications that do not have a covering letter.

Start date: 17th September

Closing date: 23rd July

Interviews: WB 26th July


£100 a day


8 hours – one day a week (Term time only)

Person Specification


  • Own car
  • Full clean UK Driving License
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to establish rapport with young children
  • In depth understanding about importance of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle
  • Experience in running fitness sessions to a group
  • Self motivated and methodical in organisation
  • Excellent written and verbal communications
  • Team player with a flexible attitude


  • Experience in delivering sports activities to young people
  • Sports science or Personal Training qualification

Reports to CEO of HEY Children’s University

Main Accountabilities

  • To create, coordinate and and deliver fitness and healthy lifestyle sessions in primary schools.
  • Support the HEY CU CEO in the achievement of the Charity’s aims
  • Maintain confidentiality of information according to the Data Protection Act and the HEY CU own Data Protection Policy.
  • Ensure that HEY CU’s commitment to safeguarding, child protection and the welfare of children is rigorously enforced across all activities.
  • Undertake any other duties assigned which are commensurate with the role.
  • Undertake all duties in line with HEY Children’s University’s Health & Safety Policy
  • Show a commitment to diversity, equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practices

Partner Spotlight: ABP Humber – Platinum Partner

ABP Humber have been long term Platinum partners of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) and their support has had a huge impact on our growth over the past 6 years.  In this time we have been able to reach an increase of over 500 children every year thanks to the support of partners like ABP.

ABP is the UK’s leading port operator with a network of 21 ports across Britain

ABP handles around one-quarter of the nation’s seaborne trade, contributing £7.5 billion to the economy every year and supporting 119,000 jobs. ABP also operates one of the UK’s busiest rail terminals at Hams Hall in the Midlands.

Both of our organisations are passionate about inspiring the next generation into rewarding careers and we have worked together on some transformational projects.

Since 2014 we have delivered our annual Humber Cruises every year (sadly on hold since the pandemic), taking 60 primary school children a day on a 4 hour cruise along the Humber on the Yorkshire Belle vessel. Whilst on the cruise, the children hear a live commentary which tells them all of the amazing facts about the Humber Estuary and the businesses around it. They also learn sea shanties and even have the chance to write their own! ABP very kindly host the Yorkshire Belle for the week and provide a pilot for the boat.

We have also been able to deliver our P&O and ABP experience to children on a regular basis. The children spend half of the day on board the Pride of Hull, touring the ferry and learning all about the jobs on board. They then board a coach and a member of ABP staff takes them on a fascinating tour of the ports and how important they are to our region.

Some of the children living in Foster Care are given the most magical Christmas experience on board the Humber Christmas Express, thanks to ABP. For most of these children it was the first time they have been on a train and the first time they had ever left Hull. The children are treated like VIPs whilst on board, with a delicious 3 course meal whilst they take in the scenery. They then spend the day in London, visiting attractions and taking the tube for the first time!

We were extremely grateful for the additional fundraising events that ABP staff have supported HEY CU with. In 2019 ABP chose to support us with their entry to the Humber Bridge Soapbox Derby.  Kind-hearted staff based at the Port of Hull raised over £1,400 for HEY CU and were awarded Best Corporate team and overall second place with a time of 35 minutes and 26 seconds. With the help of Drury Engineering, they built the kart from scratch and already have plans in place for the next event!

ABP continues to support HEY CU as a Platinum partner, and has also sponsored additional projects such as our Doorstep Elves Christmas appeal and the 2017 City of Culture container project. Here are a few words from ABP about our Partnership:


HEY CU Shortlisted for the HEYPIBA21 Team Impact Award

The Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University team are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Team Impact award at this year’s Hull and East Yorkshire People In Business Awards (HEYPIBA) for our work during the pandemic.

Lockdown brought major concern for the welfare and safety of vulnerable or disadvantaged children. We were inundated with calls for help for thousands of children whose circumstances do not meet the threshold for social services intervention but who are vulnerable and would be greatly impacted by school closures. In addition, there were concerns for children of key workers who were showing signs of emotional stress because parents where at the front line. So, we redesigned our services to respond to the crisis and set about putting together educational resource packs including books and games to support learning, paper, pencils, crayons, and games which were then hand delivered by our volunteers to thousands of children who are at risk.

Over the past 12 months we have secured, packed, and delivered –

  • 2,266 educational packs to children in KS2 who were falling behind in education and were unlikely to have learning materials at home because of household poverty.
  • 3094 wellbeing packs to children in KS2 to support their mental health and wellbeing including children of key workers such as nurses who were showing signs of worrying about their parents who were on the front line. These packs were designed to support their emotional resilience.
  • 1,182 Letter Box parcels to children in KS1 to support their education and development.
  • Hundreds of food parcels at Christmas to families living in poverty.

So, whilst this is not what we normally do, working with dozens of volunteers, we received, packed, and delivered over 6,500 educational and emotional support packs to children across Hull and the East Riding. This included over 45,794 individual books, games, learning materials and resources which without HEY Children’s University, would never have been purchased and delivered.

And then we went into a third lockdown in January with all children sent home for months with a national outcry about disadvantaged children who do not have access to online school learning resources because of a lack of IT and access to the internet.

We took up the mantel again after cries for help for 850 children in Hull and launched a campaign to harness the spirit of the community to help. Through the campaign we secured all 850 devices through grants, donations from the public both of cash but also donations of devices and from business. We raised £62,000 in six weeks to help with this, and all 850 children were given brand new or cleaned and reconditions devices and over 100 children also received dongles to give them internet connection. Volunteers drove all over the city collecting the devices, delivering them to the IT company and then delivering them to children.

We have kept thousands of children safe, engaged, fed, and learning during lockdown despite not being able to deliver our usual programme of experiences.

The HEYPIBA awards will take place virtually on the 9th July. Wish us luck!



Northern Gas Networks and HEY Children’s University take their partnership on the road!

Van design created by BENDOWSON.COM

Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University and Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributor for the North of England, have teamed up on an exciting new project which will help inspire a love of reading for children living in care
HEY Children’s University is a charity that aims to raise the aspirations, self esteem and resilience of disadvantaged children. The charity works with more than  7,000 children a year, providing them with experiences and interventions which they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, such as supported reading.
Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has been one of the charity’s Platinum corporate partners for the past seven years and has been instrumental in helping the charity to grow over the years and reach a greater number of children.
HEY Children’s University applied to NGN  for a grant from the energy industry regulator Ofgem’s  Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance with a proposal to fund a reading camper van. The idea is that the van would be able to solve the issue of reading space in some schools being limited to one-to-one sessions. HEY Children’s University delivers a reading intervention programme called the Letterbox Club in which children in care receive a monthly letterbox parcel filled with books.
The HEY Children’s University Letterbox Tutors visit the children at their school and hold reading sessions with the children to help them to progress and develop a love of reading. The tutors work specifically with looked after children in year groups 3 to 7 and visit them on a weekly basis. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a quiet spot to sit and read inside school when there are many distractions, so the van (kitted out as a perfect “reading corner”) provides a space to do this. The children can even choose to read outside the van on one of the beanbags!
Natasha Barley, Director of HEY Children’s University, said: “We have such an amazing partnership with NGN.
“NGN identified that literacy and employability were key issues to address in Hull and the East Riding. The reading van will help us ensure that children in care are able to access their reading sessions. The sessions take place for up to three years and children finish the programme at expected reading age or above which in turn helps them to achieve academically and go on to gain qualifications and employment. It’s also very important for children to be educated about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the sessions delivered in schools across Hull and the East Riding will ensure that children are educated about this important issue. We’re very excited about this new initiative and look forward to seeing the van in action changing lives.”
The van will also be used for HEY Children’s University to deliver carbon monoxide awareness sessions in schools. NGN supplies gas to 2.7 million homes across the North of England, and ensuring children and their families stay safe and know about the dangers of carbon monoxide is one of their key priorities. The HEY Children’s University tutors will travel around Hull and the East Riding to deliver these important sessions to schools.
Jill Walker, Social Strategy Project Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said: “NGN colleagues live and work in the communities that we serve, and it is important to us that we make a positive contribution to those communities. We work with our community partners, including HEY Children’s University, to support charities and volunteers who are making a difference. Literacy skills are an important building block for achievement in later life, so it’s great to see such a fantastic project as the reading van coming to life; especially after a year when it has been difficult for some of our most disadvantaged children to access educational support.”
HEY Children’s University and NGN hope to have the van on the road by the autumn, for the start of the new school year.

The Making Dreams Raffle- Get your tickets now!

The Making Dreams Raffle is here!

We are very excited to launch our “Making Dreams” online raffle which is raising funds to send a class of children on a London Experience next year. ENTER HERE:…/

Gyfters is a site which helps charities host their raffles. They are registered with the Fundraising Regulator.
We have over 30 AMAZING prizes to be won:
1. Gin Hamper with 4 gins plus mixers and glasses (donated by Richard Hammond Price)

2. The Humber Street Hamper- Bottle of Gin from Humber Street Distillery Co, a potted plant from, Plant & Paint, a Poster Puzzle from Form Shop & Studio, a £35 voucher for Atom – Hull and a bottle of wine.

3. 1ltr Smirnoff Vodka – donated by Sonoco Trident
4. 70cl VAT 69 Whisky – donated by Sonoco Trident
5. £20 Bohemia Boutique Voucher with Bohemia Boutique Clip – donated by bohemia boutique
6. Bohemia Boutique Clip Scarf – donated by bohemia boutique

7. £50 Beauty Clinic Voucher – donated by The Beauty Clinic. Cottingham

8. Decléor Romarin Officinal Daily Hand Wash Scrub and Decléor Néroli Bigarade Bath & Shower Gel – donated by The Beauty Clinic. Cottingham

9. Decléor Strengthening & Hydrating Kit – donated by The Beauty Clinic. Cottingham
10. Claire West Print Cushion donated by Claire West Painter printmaker
11. Claire West set of greeting cards and 4 coasters donated by Claire West Painter printmaker
12. £50 The Triton Inn restaurant voucher (1)
13. £50 The Triton Inn restaurant voucher (2)
14. £20 voucher for Zolsha Indian restaurant at Howden
15. Prosecco from Flourish and Prosper in Howden
16. £20 Morrisons voucher from Morrisons Brough
17. Meal for 2 voucher for Beefeater The Kingswood
18. Wine and nibbles hamper (1)
19. Wine and nibbles hamper (2)
20. Cosy night in hamper
21. Pink beauty set
22. Pamper hamper (1)
23. Pamper Hamper (2)
24. Pamper Hamper (3)
25. Prosecco and Beauty hamper
26. Luxury Nibbles hamper (1)
27. Luxury Nibbles hamper (2)
28. £10 voucher from Langlands Garden Centre – Shiptonthorpe
29. £20 voucher from Gilberdyke Garden Centre
30. Hamper from Waitrose Willerby
31. £40 for The Greek Princes Avenue
32. £20 Food voucher (1) for Half Moon Skidby
33. £20 Food voucher (2) for Half Moon Skidby
34. Giant penguin teddy
35. Giant Dog teddy
36. Large Teddy bear
37. Scentsy gift set with 3 solid melts, body wash and hand cream.
38. Sessions House Spa Beverley £30 blowdry voucher
Entries are just £1, discounts for multiple entries (see raffle page for details).
Collection preferred but we can deliver if necessary. The charity can only deliver the winners prize(s) to a Hull address. If a winner resides outside of Hull the winner is to arrange collection of the prize from the charity. For your safely, prize collections will be inline with COVID safety protocols.
All Terms and Conditions are available to read on the raffle page.
Thank you to our fundraising committee for arranging these fantastic prizes.

Take on the #CaptainTom100 challenge for HEY Children’s University!

Take on the #CaptainTom100 challenge for HEY Children’s University!


New fundraising initiative over Captain Tom’s birthday weekend of Friday 30 April to Bank Holiday Monday 3 May to celebrate his life and amazing achievements 

Captain Tom 100 invites people all over the world to take on a challenge
based around the number 100 to raise funds for charity

Following the outpouring of heartfelt messages since the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore on 2 February, his family pledged to celebrate his life with an event that everyone, in the UK and around the world, could be involved in. That event is the Captain Tom 100 and HEY Children’s University is proud to be inviting our supporters to take part.

HEY Children’s University, like many other charities, has been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s had a catastrophic effect, with the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events and the loss of billions in income.

Captain Tom 100 offers HEY Children’s University supporters, of all ages and abilities, the the opportunity to raise crucial funds for our charity, while at the same time celebrating Captain Tom’s generosity of spirit, the hope and joy he brought to millions, and his sense of fun.

 How it works

It’s so simple. All participants need to do is dream up a Captain Tom 100 challenge based around the number 100 and do it at any time and anywhere over Captain Tom’s birthday weekend – starting on Friday 30 April through to Bank Holiday Monday 3 May.

The challenge could be walking 100 steps or running 100 metres, scoring 100 goals, baking 100 cakes, climbing 100 stairs, hopping 100 laps of the garden, building 100 sandcastles, writing a 100-word poem, flipping 100 pancakes – anything at all, inside or out.

Once supporters have chosen their challenge, they can fundraise or donate to HEY Children’s University, and share their 100 on social media, using #CaptainTom100 

Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said: “We are so grateful for the incredible support we have received since my father started his record-breaking fundraising walk and that his message of hope was shared with the world. Captain Tom was very proud to be able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation. We know he would love the idea of inviting everyone to get involved and share their Captain Tom 100 so that together we can ensure ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’. We look forward to celebrating with you on what would have been his 101st birthday weekend – it’s going to be fun!”

Set up your #CaptainTom100  Fundraising page for HEY Children’s University here:








10k for £10k: Our founder is on a mission to give back. Here is his story…


Dr John Buttrick MBE founded Hull Children’s University in 1996 when he was Deputy Head at Francis Askew School. John realised that nurturing children’s individual talents and interests really had an impact on their self esteem and in turn, their ambitions for the future. So he left teaching and created Hull Children’s University.

In 2015, John unfortunately had to retire due to illness and leaving the charity in such sudden circumstances broke his heart.

6 years on and John is  back to fitness and raring to go! Now he wants to say thank you to everyone who supported Hull Children’s University over the years by raising money with a 10K run. Here is John’s story:

Hi Everyone

It’s John Buttrick here, probably you don’t remember me but I founded Kingston upon Hull Children’s University way back in the mid nineties.

Sadly I had to retire in 2015 due to ill health but so delighted it continues to flourish.

My illness was diagnosed as vasculitis , inflammation of the blood vessels leading to the brain. It wasn’t until around four years later that I fully recovered. Almost two of those years were spent on my sofa with various other ailments setting in.

I became severely depressed and my mental health was in tatters. Lost the sense of balance so couldn’t walk properly, my speech became slurred and I was devoid of energy and put on two stone in weight. I was a mess with self esteem and confidence rock bottom. I didn’t even have the bottle to go outside!

My recovery was gradual due to several experiences and support none more so than my wife Lesley and daughter Nikki who became my rocks.

Other close friends and colleagues gave their support too and the acquisition of a pet dog, Poppy who persuaded me to take her for walks played a significant role in my rehabilitation and mindset change.

Then one day I received a letter from Buckingham Palace to inform me that the Queen wished to award me an MBE in her Birthday Honours list for my services to the Children of Hull.

I can still feel the shivers sprinting up my spine, I felt humbled yet elated. It certainly gave me an emotional and psychological lift and it became a pivotal moment in my recovery.

With my brain beginning to function ,my anxiety and depression starting to lift, I managed to escape my sofa and began walking again but with an unstable balance. I was still not fully recovered when I received my MBE from Prince William.

Perhaps the most powerful force in my progress was when my daughter Nikki persuaded me to return to the gym!

I was extremely anxious as I stepped through the doors as I was out of condition and my inside was pumped with medication . However since that day I’ve managed to turn my life around by working out and running almost every day.I had a period of uninterrupted gym activity but then Covid came along !

I’d been isolated through my illness for almost four years and now shielding at home due to my Extremely Clinically Vulnerable status. My Mycophenalate medication reduced my immune system to a very low level of resistance and if being hit by the virus my only survival was to keep myself fit, healthy and strong.

In order to solve the problem of not being able to attend the gym I created a makeshift one in my garage! Never missed a daily session in my quest to become super fit ! Cross Training, cycling, weight lifting, mat exercising and running when Boris said I could take some outdoor activity!

Luckily I’ve kept my fitness training as a priority in my life and it’s become a daily activity.

Confidence and self esteem are back in tact and I’m looking forward to coming out of lockdown and enjoying the life I had prior to 2014 again.

I had to retire from my post as Director of Hull Children’s University so didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye and thank all the hundreds of children and grown ups for their support of the innovative educational venture.

So now it’s payback time!

From hardly being able to walk to running and training daily, I’m going to run this years Hull 10k and hopefully gain sponsorship in order to support HEY CU!

I will also donate to Alzheimer’s Research as I’ve watched my mum and many others in care homes deteriorate and lose their identity.

I would be grateful for any sponsorship contributions towards young people at the start of their lives and those dementia sufferers towards the end of theirs .

Thank you

Dr John Buttrick MBE

If you would like to support John’s efforts, you can make a donation here: Virgin Money Giving | My 10K challenge

VACANCY: Children in Care Letterbox Club Tutor

Children in Care Letterbox Club Tutor (Hull) full time

Salary £22,462 (point 23 NJC Scale)

25 days annual leave plus bank holidays

Fixed term contract for a year with potential for renewal, subject to funding.

Start date: 12th April 2021

Closing date: 4th March 2021 – Remote interview 9th March 2021

Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University are looking for a friendly, positive and self motivated person who loves working with children and loves reading to join our amazing charity. We have a vibrant, energetic and hard working team who all share a passion for changing children’s lives.

The new Letterbox Club Coordinator will join our current Letterbox Coordinator to provide Children in Care in Hull (year 3 to year 6) with one-to -one reading sessions that over time improve their reading ability, showing tangible improvement in reading age measured by regular assessments. They will visit the children in their schools on a regular basis, delivering their bespoke Letterbox Parcels that contain books, games and equipment to improve their reading, maths and literacy.

During school holidays the Letterbox Coordinator will be required to support the learning experiences that HEY Children’s University provides to the Children in Care. This may mean some out of hours and weekend work (though plenty of notice will be given).

*Due to COVID 19 the reading sessions can be done virtually. Any sessions done in schools will be socially distanced and PPE worn at all times. We aim to have all sessions face to face again in September*

The successful candidate will either be a Qualified Teacher or Senior level Teaching Assistant with at least a year’s experience in carrying out reading assessments with primary school aged children. Some experience in working with Children in Care is desirable.

Due to this role requiring regular travelling, a full clean UK driving license and the use of own car is essential.As this job involves working with children and young people, the successful candidate will be required to complete an enhanced disclosure DBS check.

They must also provide two references, one being from the manager at their current or most recent place of employment.

HEY Children’s University is an inclusive employer and we welcome applications from all backgrounds, including LGBTQ+ and BAME applicants.

To apply please send a COVERING LETTER AND CV to  Applications without a covering letter will not be considered.

ThingSIM help HEY CU get children online


Our Digital Divide campaign to provide vital equipment to children who are unable to access online lessons has been given a major boost.

Hull company ThingSIM is donating Wi-Fi dongles with their own specialised SIM cards to the Stop the Digital Divide appeal run by Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University which aims to provide laptops and Internet access for primary school children. The equipment will be distributed by schools who have identified pupils in need.

ThingSIM will be providing 85 dongles initially and will cover the costs for all of the data used by the recipients.

The special SIM cards are protected by ThingSIM’s advanced security platform and will restrict children’s Internet access to educational resources to assure online safety and allow the schools to meet their safeguarding obligations. The company, which is based at Hull’s C4DI, has just been launched by entrepreneur Chris Byrd, and provides connectivity and management solutions for businesses using Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University has been raising money via a GoFundMe page with a target figure of £20,000. At the time of writing, nearly £13,000 had been generated and the equipment was starting to be delivered to local schools. We are also asking the public to donate old laptops and tablets which will be ‘wiped’ of all data.

Natasha Barley, HEY Children’s University director, said that there were many families without Internet access meaning that disadvantaged children were getting left further behind due to COVID-19.

“The donation of the WiFi dongles is exceptionally generous for a fledgling business and it provides us with a very straightforward solution for the schools which have requested equipment. We want to say a massive thank you to ThingSIM.”

Chris Byrd said: “As someone who has made technology my career, I find it unthinkable that so many young people have no Internet access resulting in isolation and lack of opportunity.

“These children are our future and we want to do our bit to enable them to participate in online school lessons, research and homework. Education is a basic right which should not be denied to them due to this pandemic.

“ThingSIM has a unique set of security capabilities which are normally used for large commercial IoT deployments, and we are very pleased to have been able to adapt the platform to ensure children using our connectivity service can be kept safe whilst online”

Chris Byrd started ThingSIM to help SMEs take advantage of the huge potential of smart device technology. The company is able to provide global, secure connectivity and can offer solutions that bypass the public Internet.

Natasha Barley added: “It’s our job as a community and as a society to do our bit to ensure these children are not marginalised, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has donated, and to ThingSIM for providing this perfect solution to providing essential connectivity.”


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