William’s Den gets Christmassy for HEY CU

A capacity crowd of over 700 people attended the special charity Christmas Lights switch on and traditional Christmas Fayre on Friday 29th November to mark the start of festive events at William’s Den, the award-winning East Yorkshire family attraction. Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University mascot Charlie, and 11 year old William Carver, who inspired his parents to create William’s Den, switched on the lights which adorn the giant 30ft Christmas tree.

Children from North Cave primary school performed a range of Christmas carols, there was live music from Riverside Brass and two dozen local craft stalls selling a range of unique Christmas gifts.

Over £450 was raised on the night in aid of Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University.

Says William’s Den co-owner Tor Carver, “We were delighted to welcome so many families to our charity Christmas lights switch on to herald the start of our Christmas events. Christmas is a time for giving and we are honoured to be able to support Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University and their amazing work in providing special memories and help for the children and families they support.”

Natasha Barley, Director, Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University said, “We are delighted to once again be partnering with William’s Den. Christmas is a magical time but it can also be a challenging time for families and we are grateful to William’s Den for putting this event on to help raise much needed funds.”

Families attending the Christmas lights switch on also got to hear about the new The Christmas Den Experience which opened on Saturday 30th November and runs every weekend until Christmas. Families booking one of the hourly sessions will be welcomed by the cheeky elves into The Christmas Den, help Mother Christmas decorate gingerbread biscuits, meet Father Christmas and build their own Christmas bear to take home.

With many sessions already sold out anyone wanting to visit Father Christmas at William’s Den this year is encouraged to book soon at www.williamsden.co.uk<https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=http%3a%2f%2fwww.williamsden.co.uk&c=E,1,LEU1iqqZCbEWHhq5Vkdwte6_ebD6ntez86Jw3VmIeu9ISlLG-GECDTeNZowJ10ENd0DBHtdKNImWdt3c_6JF6oIWm8XgM1CBWRJvgw3B&typo=1>.

The Christmas Den Experience
Opening Dates: 30th November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th and 21st-24th December 2019. The Christmas Den Experience runs hourly during the day. With a limited number of spaces available in each session, advance booking is essential.

Description: Children and their families will be welcomed into The Christmas Den in small groups. They will be greeted by the cheeky elves straight from the North Pole and will learn how to become an honorary Elf. Mother Christmas can’t wait to tell her treasured Christmas stories and to share her special gingerbread. Made from a very secret recipe, she needs plenty of help to decorate all the biscuits in time! Where there is gingerbread, you’ll find Father Christmas. He is looking forward to meeting our VIP guests and will help each child to build their own Christmas bear to take home! The day wouldn’t be complete without the opportunity to let off steam and play, with full William’s Den entry included. (Please note The Christmas Den is only accessible via stairs. Pushchairs will need to be stored at The Welcome Desk area.)

Prices: 30th November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th December 2019; Adults £10.00 / Child £22.50
21st – 24th December 2019: Adults £15.00 / Child £27.50

Booking: The Christmas Den Experience runs hourly during the day. The experience lasts around 45 minutes and you will visit The Christmas Den in groups, this is not an individual Father Christmas experience. Book tickets online via the William’s Den website www.williamsden.co.uk<https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=http%3a%2f%2fwww.williamsden.co.uk&c=E,1,1hBD9hPTxL67iI-dTvCR2X8mzY3U6wxbGJffGFglznDr20Jhp50cksKEGdBniYBpMvrc6EvTFwHvRCCg7rGJMVz_bw88d3bnqh55STQUIZPTDqI,&typo=1>

HEY CU Shortlisted for two CYPN Awards

We are extremely excited to announce that HEY CU has been shortlisted for not one, but two Children and Young People Now awards. The awards take place in London on an annual basis and representatives from HEY CU will be attending the prestigious ceremony on the 28th November.

The charity has been shortlisted for awards in the following categories:

The Children and Young People’s  Charity Award

The Leaving Care Award

Natasha Barley, Director of HEY Children’s University is delighted to be attending the ceremony at the end of the month ” To have been shortlisted for the two categories at these fantastic awards it recognises the calibre of the work that has been taking place at our charity and I am extremely proud of our team”.

You can view the full list of shortlisted charities here:  https://www.cypnowawards.com/shortlist

Success for HEY CU at the PIB Awards

Friday 12th July saw the very first People in Business (PIB) Awards, held at the Doubletree By Hilton.

The event, founded by Jo Fleming, welcomed 400 guests from a variety of sectors including the Police and Humberside Fire and Rescue.

The awards were created to recognise the people behind successful businesses and organisations and with over 100 nominations, the judges had a tough task deciding the winners.

Of the 12 categories, HEY Children’s University was shortlisted for 2 – the Manager award and the Team Impact award.

The competition was very strong with so many amazing people nominated but the night turned out to be very successful for HEY CU. Natasha Barley, Director, was named the winner of the Manager award and the charity was named the runner up for the Team Impact award.

Rose James, Partnership Manager of HEY CU said “We are so delighted to have been named the runner up in the Team Impact award and we are even more thrilled that Natasha won the Manager award. She is a fantastic leader for the charity and the award is thoroughly deserved.”

Our partnership with ABP goes from strength to strength

Associated British Ports (ABP) has become a Platinum supporter of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU).

As longstanding supporters of this local charity ABP Humber sought to increase its donation this year to £20,000. The funding will enable even more disadvantaged children access to wonderful educational experiences organised by the charity.

Natasha Barley, Director of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University said: “As an educational charity that works to raise the aspirations of children across Hull and East Yorkshire, we rely on the support we receive from businesses to do our vital work. ABP is a longstanding supporter of HEY CU and we are grateful for the abundance of opportunities they help us to provide to the children. From port tours for school groups to the Santa Express for our children growing up in care, ABP goes above and beyond to nurture the aspirations of some of the city’s most vulnerable children.”
Building on last year’s well received programme of activity, £10,000 of the funding is ‘in kind’ and will comprise of port tours and Humber Cruises that get underway this week.

Across the week, 250 children from nine primary schools will board the Yorkshire Belle in the Port of Hull, for a cruise along the Humber Estuary. Departing from the King George Dock, children will travel to the Humber Bridge and back whilst learning about the estuary, its history and the work carried out by ABP.

APB Humber Director Simon Bird said: “By supporting Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University we are ensuring local children have access to new experiences and opportunities which broaden their horizons and hopefully inspire some to consider maritime careers in the future. The Humber Cruises help us to showcase how valuable the Humber is to everyone’s everyday life in our region and are very popular with the children.”

Natasha added: “The Humber Cruises are one of our biggest events of the year. Many of the children coming on these cruises have never been aboard a boat before, and some have never seen the Humber Bridge. It’s all about inspiring the children and getting them to believe in themselves so that they can achieve in the future, all of which wouldn’t be possible without the support of ABP.”

What you should know about Kai

A short animation telling the story of a young man that our charity worked with. We are so very proud of Kai and all that he has achieved. Please share and help us to tell Kai’s story.

This animation was put together by My Pockets: www.mypockets.co.uk

All aboard the Humber Christmas Express!

The majority of the children registered on the Children In Care (CIC) Programme will not spend time with their biological families this year. For many, it is their first year living in care and they may not have any contact with their families. Although the children may be in much better living conditions and in a loving environment, the need and want for them to be with their own family still haunts many of them.

Some of these children have never celebrated Christmas as others know it. No presents on Christmas day, no visits to Santa’s grotto, no build up of excitement by attending festive activities and watching Christmas light being turned on. This is where HEY Children’s University comes in to spread some magic.

In November, one of our Platinum Partners ABP put on the “Humber Christmas Express” and gave our CIC children the opportunity to have a Christmas trip that they would never forget!

The following is a blog entry from one of our mentors on the CIC programme.

Christmas with the Children in Care  (CIC) Programme. A mentors perspective.

Saturday 24th November 2018. A  trip on the “Humber Christmas Express”

Destination London, Hyde Park and a visit to “Winter Wonderland”.

7.10am Hull.

Mentors are assembled:  HCU lead, myself and a welcome surprise in my work colleague as the other mentor.

The CIC kids arrive, and we are off with our select party of 10.

Works on the railway means the line from Hull is out of use,  so we are off on a coach to meet the train in Doncaster.

Coach journey completed, the “Riviera Express” which has come up from Devon duly arrives and we look for our allocated seats in the “First Class” section.

8.50 am The Journey begins, and the kids want to tuck into their pack-ups, but today we stop them, why? Well today is special, it is the Xmas Express and we are to be regally looked after.  We can tell from the silver service table layout that the pack-ups are not needed, yet!

We all tuck into a hearty English Breakfast served by the train volunteer staff, they are known as the “Frying Scotsmen”! Yes frying!


So, breakfast concluded we look for things to do to keep the entertainment going.

Card games, lots of drawings completed, some “window bingo” and just lots of ooh’s and aah’s as the various sites pass by.

We now head non-stop to London Kings Cross for our day in London. When we arrive we have a transfer to the underground and onwards to Hyde Park Corner Station. We are ready to see what the Winter Wonderland has to offer!

The 10 of us are let loose on the Big City event for the next 4 hours and, in hindsight, if we had 40 hours we still wouldn’t have seen everything! It was massive and the bits we did see and events we had pre-booked were all enjoyed by everyone.

We started with some rides whilst we waited for our allotted times. All the kids entered the “fun house” with a little apprehension and came out laughing with beaming smiles, -that’s what makes it worthwhile and educational as some life skills are learned and then practised.

Our allotted times were upon us and we visited the Ice Kingdom to view some spectacular carved ice sculptures.

Our next venture was the Snowman exhibition, explaining the making of the film The Snowman based on the book by Raymond Briggs.

A final look around and another ride and then the spending of their own money on some souvenirs. We waved goodbye to “Winter Wonderland” and set off on our trip back to Hull.

Good-bye to Hyde Park, hello Kings Cross,  a quick stop for final souvenir shopping and we board for our return journey to Hull.

Safely seated back in our First-Class seats, the table is again set for a meal on the return journey. And what a meal it was!

The 4-course meal, again served by the same volunteers, gave the opportunity to have a full evening meal with typical Christmas Fayre, or for the more discerning children’s pallets, Chicken Nuggets and Chips.!

The kids were excited to see the rest of the menu which included salmon in a whisky sauce, and Xmas pudding in Brandy sauce. All were keen to try the boozy offerings!

Santa then paid us a visit and gave out a small gift to all.

10pm We arrive back in Hull very tired but with happy smiling faces all round, both from the great experience they had and from being back with their carers.

Well done everyone!

Hull pupil designs official University Christmas card

An impressive drawing of the Venn building at the University of Hull was the winning entry for a Christmas card competition organised for local schools.

In partnership with Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University, Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor of the University, invited more than 500 children from seven local primary schools to design a special Christmas card for her.

Professor Lea said:

“We treasure all our links with local schools and had an amazing response to the competition. The designs confirmed that we have a lot of talented children out there – and it is a pity that we can only have one winner.

“The winning design showed great attention to detail and really created the atmosphere of our Venn building on a frosty Winter’s night.

“I congratulate our winner, Alana, but also want to express my thanks to all the pupils and teachers who gave their time and support to this competition. I have really been touched by all the wonderful contributions.”

Alana Stuart, a year six pupil at Newland St John’s Church of England Academy, was one of 150 pupils at her school to enter the competition.


Alana said:

“I really enjoyed coming up to the University to sketch some of the buildings. I chose the Venn building for my design because it is such an interesting older building. I feel proud and surprised to have won the competition, because I’ve never won anything before and I feel like a VIP!”

Natasha Barley, Director at Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University, said:

“We were thrilled when the Vice Chancellor of the University asked us to run a Christmas card competition to find a suitable design for her cards this year.

“We received over 500 designs so selecting a winner was a difficult task. The designs from Newland St. John’s school really stood out. They had taken the time to come on campus to study the buildings and do some in situ sketching. The result was amazing with the sketches being of an extremely high quality and very accurate.

“Our charity, Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University, inspires children to find their talents and pursue a career in them. I have no doubt that Alana will be doing something creative in the future.”

Alana will be presented with her prize at the University’s annual carol service on Sunday.

Sarah Wilson, Headteacher at Newland St John’s Church of England Academy, said:
“We value our links with both the University of Hull and the Children’s University highly, and very much enjoyed taking part in this project.

“It gave a fantastic context for the children to apply their developing art skills as well as giving them a glimpse of the university and something for them to work towards in the future. We are immensely proud of Alana and the work she produced!”


BP, Ron Dearing & HEY CU inspire girls to get into STEM

BP in Hull, in conjunction with Hull & East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University and the Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), held a STEM inspiration day for more than 60 nine to eleven-year-old girls from across the region.


BP has been supporting the teaching and learning of science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) for 50 years, but this year particularly, is celebrating engineering careers and the dedicated engineers we have working within BP. By connecting these engineers with young people, we can inspire students and show them the breadth of opportunities that lie ahead for them in their future.
These STEM inspiration days have been hosted across four BP UK sites this year in support of the UK Government’s Year of Engineering 2018 campaign, which is working alongside industry partners to offer young people a positive experience of engineering to help tackle the engineering skills gap in the UK.

The Hull event focused on highlighting the STEM subjects to girls, to help encourage more young women into engineering. According to the Women’s Engineering Society, in the UK women account for only 9% of the professional engineering workforce – this representation is far lower than the European average. It has also been widely publicised that the UK economy is experiencing a shortfall of engineers, which poses a serious threat to industry and the economy in general. Industry plays a vital part in the UK economy and a diverse workforce contributes to maintaining the UK’s competitive edge in the global economy.

Activities during the day ranged from helping the children understand how forces, in the form of thrusts and air resistance, affect the motion of a balloon rocket and how air resistance can be managed by designing a streamlined nose cone, to a structural engineering challenge using straws and marshmallows, and a team work and communication challenge using Lego.

Along with their Partnership with HEY Children’s University, BP in Hull also has a Schools Link partnership with the Ron Dearing UTC, which, backed by Hull University and the region’s leading employers, provides young people with an employer-driven academic, technical and vocational education. Students can join the UTC in year 10 (age 14) and year 12 (age 16). The event was held at Ron Dearing UTC, providing the school children with the opportunity to also see where they could aspire to study.

Ellie Westwood, BP Hull communications and engagement advisor, said: “At BP we believe it is important to work with young people to help them recognise the exciting STEM careers available to them. We know we need to work hard to encourage more girls to look at engineering as a future career, so our STEM inspiration day was a really wonderful way of helping these children from our local area meet our engineers and work with them to learn, experience and discover more about the world of science and engineering.

“During the day, we had lots of positive comments from the children, with many of them telling us they wanted to become scientists and engineers, so we hope that events like this can really help to open their eyes to the careers that engineering can provide.
“This was a great way to work with both HEY Children’s University and Ron Dearing UTC to engage with children who not only may not be aware of the opportunities on their doorstep for future jobs, but also for where they can study.”

Natasha Barley, director of HEY Children’s University, said: “Our charity is proud to be working with BP to raise the aspirations of girls from disadvantaged communities in Hull and the East Riding. We hope that events like this one encourage the girls taking part to be inspired to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Opportunities like this can change a child’s future as there are so many STEM related careers they can aspire to.”

Mark Ollerenshaw, vice principal at Ron Dearing UTC, added: “Ron Dearing UTC has a formidable relationship with both HEY Children’s University and BP.

“We are delighted to have been part of BP’s Year of Engineering STEM day. Our relationship with BP not only provides opportunities like this event, but gives students at Ron Dearing invaluable work experience, expert careers advice and guidance and support with our curriculum, too.

“As an employer-led STEM school we, along with our industry partners, are passionate about inspiring women to pursue careers in STEM subjects, and we are pleased to have worked alongside BP and HEY Children’s University to host an event to inspire the next generation of female engineers, scientists and digital technology experts.”

The Greatest Show Ball lives up to its name

On Saturday 22nd September we held our “Greatest Show” Charity Ball at the Doubletree buy Hilton, Hull. A total of 260 guests took their seats under the “big top” as the Ings Primary School Choir and Wedding Belles sang their repertoire of songs to welcome them.

Then it was time for our delicious circus-themed menu which included popcorn soup and funfair desserts.

We were treated to a spellbinding performance from a group of local aerial performers and our compere Nathan Major even serenaded us with a Greatest Showman classic.

Guests took part in fundraising activities such as our “Grand Balloon Pop” and our silent auction.

The event was our most successful ball EVER and raised a whopping £9,000!

A special thank you to the companies and schools that bought tickets to the event: Northern Gas Networks, ABP, Rollits, Trident, Harris Lacey and Swain, St Stephen’s, Wyke Printers, Houlton, Hobson Porter, Yorkshire Staffing Services, GGP Consult, MKM, Cobus Communications, Southcoates Primary, Ings Primary and Priory Primary.

Thank you to Agility Events, Ings Primary, Wedding Belles, Kevin Greene Photography, Trident, Miss Direction, Nathan Major, Dolly Daydreams Party Caravan, Influence Media for making the evening so special.

Check out the green screen photos from the event here: https://www.kevingreenephotography.co.uk/v/photos/85419vfm/children-s-university-ball-2018

Watch the fantastic video of the event by Influence Media:


ABP races for a wheely worthy cause!

ABP Hull staff enjoyed a rip-roaring success as not only did they cross the finish line in second place at a popular kart race, The Soapbox Derby,  but they also raised funds for local underprivileged children.

Kind-hearted staff based at the Port of Hull raised over £1,400 for Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University to enable local little ones to take part in an educational trip to London.

The aptly named Hi-Viz crew were awarded Best Corporate team and overall second place with a time of 35 minutes and 26 seconds at the annual event near the Humber Bridge. With the help of Drury Engineering, they built the kart from scratch and already have plans in place for next year’s event!

Glenn Silburn, ABP Maintenance Manager, led the build and supported the team on the day. He said: “Not only did we have fantastic fun, but more importantly we are enabling local children to have opportunities and to be inspired by trips they might not have necessarily had the chance to take part in.

“We’re already looking forward to next year’s event and to raise even more funds for local charitable causes.”

Matty Howland, ABP Source to Pay Lead, raced at the event, he added: “There was plenty of excitement behind the wheel, however the most thrilling part is to achieve this full-filling end result.”

The leading port operator, ABP, already has ties with HEY as they offer regular trips to children around the port estate and have donated £5,000 this year to become Silver Partners with the local charity.

Rosanna James, Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University Partnership Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to ABP for their continued support for our charity and we feel very lucky to be able to work with such a kind group of people to help inspire local children.

The money raised from the Soapbox Derby will fund the delivery of a London Experience for a class of children, giving them their very first trip out of Hull!

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, concluded: “We encourage staff to support the community as much as possible and this is a fantastic example of just some of our many commendable projects.”

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with everything going on at HCU.

    Text Widget

    Placerat vel augue vitae aliquam tinciuntool sed hendrerit diam in mattis ollis don ec tincidunt magna nullam hedrerit pellen tesque pelle.