AGM – 3rd August

Our AGM will take place on the 3rd August from 12-1pm. If you are interested in attending please contact Chris Lockton at

Support HEY CU when you shop at Amazon

HEY Children’s University has just signed up to be one of the charities supported by Amazon Smile. This means that Amazon will donate 0.5% of all eligible purchases back to HEY CU at absolutely no extra cost to you!

It’s really quick and easy to do! You only need to add us as the charity of choice once and then Amazon will remember us for all future purchases

Many of you will use Amazon on a regular basis, especially around Christmas time. So, if you would like to support us you just have to follow these simple instructions:

  • Visit and search for “HEY Children’s University” (don’t forget the apostrophe!) – You might need to log in to your account first.
  • Click on HEY Children’s University and agree to support. We will now be added to your account.
  • Save to your favourites. You must go through this to do your amazon shopping from now on instead of or it won’t work. Unfortunately you can’t support through the Amazon app, so if you are shopping on your mobile you will need to go through your internet browser instead.
  • That’s it!

If you have an issues please contact us and we will help!

A taste of a real Election for St John of Beverley

Pupils at a Beverley primary school are set to go to the polls this week as part of a pilot scheme to introduce children to the electoral process.

On Friday, 6 July children from St John of Beverley RC Primary School will hold a mock election to bring to an end a project run in conjunction with East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s electoral services and the Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University about democracy and the importance of having the right to vote.

Over the last few weeks, year 6 pupils have set up their own political parties, chosen two candidates, prepared manifestos and run campaigns as well as taking part in a debate in the council chamber at County Hall in Beverley watched over by the chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Councillor Margaret Chadwick.

On election day, pupils will be involved in all aspects of the election and will take on roles such as presiding officers, poll clerks and counters whilst some children will be journalists reporting the results.

Once the pupils from years three to six have voted and the votes have been counted and verified the declaration will be made by Mrs Debbie Rosenberg, the High Sheriff of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for council corporate services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “There has been a lot of apathy from younger voters in recent elections so engaging children in the democratic process from a young age is vital as they are part of the next generation of voters.

“Hopefully this project will help give children an understanding of how elections work and just how important their vote is and it will be rolled out across the East Riding.”

Lisa Whitton, East Riding Manager for Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, said: “Working in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s electoral team to teach children about local democracy and the importance of registering to vote has been a great way of bringing the subject area to life.

“It has also helped to raise the confidence of the children as they’ve debated their manifestos.

“The children have fully embraced the mock election process in school, campaigning for votes for their parties, the result of which will see the winning party have an audience with the headteacher to look at implementing some of their suggestions within the school environment.”

Angela Nicholl, head teacher at St John of Beverley RC Primary School, said: “This has been a terrific experience for our school, not only for the children in Year 6 but for all of key stage two.

“It has encouraged the children to think about what is important to them and they have taken part in debates, conducted research and worked together to produce arguments to try and win over voters.

“We feel sure that the children have much more understanding of the democratic process whilst having the opportunity to practice and improve many skills.

“We would like to extend our thanks to Lisa Whitton at HEY Children’s University and members of East Riding of Yorkshire Council for facilitating this unique opportunity.”

Be like Benji!

On Friday 1st June, the HEY CU team were paid a surprise visit from a very kind little boy named Benji, aged 5.

Benji had heard about the work that HEY Children’s University does and decided that every time he received any pocket money he would keep half of it and put the other half in a savings jar for HEY CU.

He came into the office with the proudest smile on his face and presented us with a whopping £20 that he had saved up for the charity.

We told Benji that his donation would make a real difference to the work that we do and we presented him with a very special certificate to say thank you.

We hope that Benji’s wonderful act of kindness will inspire others to do the same, so we have created the #BelikeBenji campaign for those of you who would like to match Benji’s donation. At the end of the campaign we will tell Benji how much his kindness has helped to raise.

To donate, all you need to do is visit and show him your support!


Letterbox Club Update

Our Letterbox Programme, run in conjunction with the Booktrust and the Virtual School is in its 4th successful year. Currently there are 25 children in care across the city who are receiving this reading intervention. Due to its success in Hull, the East Riding have recently joined the programme too and we have recruited a brand new Letterbox Club Coordinator to deliver the programme in the East Riding.

We have delivered a number of successful learning experiences which aim to encourage and inspire the children to read more independently. We have been to the theatre to watch shows such as A Christmas Carol and The Wizard of Oz and have a number of Shakespeare performances to look forward to in the Summer. We were also donated a large amount of Christmas books which were then delivered to a number of children in care across the city.

If you are a school or a carer and would like to find out more about The Letterbox Club, please email

Learning about healthy lifestyles with HEY CU

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) is delighted to team up with NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to build upon our Healthy Lifestyles programme in schools across the city of Hull. To launch this exciting new partnership, Sue Lee, Associate Director of Communications and Engagement at NHS Hull CCG joined Luke Thornton, HEY CU’s Healthy Lifestyle Coach at Hall Road Academy, Hall Road, Hull, as the children took part in their first Healthy Lifestyles session.

The support NHS Hull CCG is providing HEY CU will enable us to provide more Hull schools and local children the opportunity to engage in our Healthy Lifestyles activities in 2018, as whole year groups take part in a four-week programme.  The children will learn about health, fitness and exercise, the importance of a healthy diet, about how the body works and how it needs to be looked after to keep it fit and strong.  Children will take part in a practical session, measuring heart rates and breathing and planning a healthy lunch by putting into practice what they have learnt to date.  The work will conclude with a session on nutrition and diet to discover how the food they eat effects energy levels and long-term health benefits.

Sue Lee, Associate Director for Communications and Engagement with NHS Hull CCG, commented: “NHS Hull CCG is passionate about supporting our city’s next generation and helping them to aspire to be the best they can be.  That is why we are delighted to team up with the Children’s University to support the valuable work they do with children to build their self-esteem and create aspirations.  We are particularly pleased to support the Healthy Lifestyles programme which helps children understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. By bringing good eating habits and physical activity directly into schools in a fun, inclusive and engaging way, we are helping to set our young people on the right road for a happy and healthy adulthood.”

Lisa Whitton of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University said, “We are delighted to welcome NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group on board to enable to us to engage over one thousand children in our Healthy Lifestyles programme over the coming year, promoting key healthy lifestyle messages to bring learning to life an in fun and creative way for all the children involved, who will leave the experience feeling energised and motivated, with a sound understanding of healthy lifestyle choices for their future.”

Hundreds of children set sail on our Humber Cruises

ABP and HEY Children’s University have worked to together to launch a series of educational cruise trips this week for over 260 children from across Hull.

The youngsters will step aboard The Yorkshire Belle from the Port of Hull and they will learn about the economic importance of the busiest estuary in the UK and its deep-rooted history.

Over four years, 1,000 primary school children have enjoyed this sea adventure and this time round they will experience views of Paull Sands and the Humber Bridge.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, said: “We hope to inspire and educate future generations with this totally unique learning experience that runs across five days.

“Staff from ABP’s marine team will ensure they have a memorable trip by exploring the city from a different perspective, and for some, it may even be their first time aboard a vessel.”

Last year, ABP’s knowledgeable pilots and coxswains supported and guided over 40,000 shipping movements in the Humber. The Humber is one of the most difficult waterways to navigate due to constantly shifting sand banks.

As well as finding their sea legs, children will be singing and writing sea shanties which will improve their literacy and creative skills.

Natasha Banke, Director of HEY Children’s University, said: “We are so grateful for the funding that ABP provides. The children learn so much from taking part and it can mean a different long term outcome because of an aspiration gained whilst taking part.

“The cruises teach the children about the geography of the Humber, the economy of the Humber Ports and about the hundreds of various job roles available at ABP.”

Sidmouth Primary Graduate from the University of Hull

For many people, the first time they experience University life is when they are in early adulthood. But for a group of lucky youngsters from Sidmouth Primary School, they got to experience what it is like to go to University at the age of 9 and 10!

The University of Hull Business School and local charity Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY) worked in partnership to provide a “day in the life” experience at the University of Hull. Marketing graduates were given the task to design an experience that would show the children what life is like as a student at the University of Hull, as well as designing a task for the children that would allow them to become “marketing students” for the day.

The children were welcomed to the Business School and were introduced to the students, hearing about their interests and studies at University. The children then went on an exciting tour of the campus, visiting places of interest such as the new Allam Medical Building, the Student Union and the famous 7th floor of the Brynmor Jones Library where they delighted at the panoramic views of Hull. They even spotted their school whilst they were up there!

Then it was time for the children to get creative with their marketing task – to design a new reusable coffee cup for students at the University. The designs included a cup that showed the flags of all of the different nationalities at the University; a cup that had a different symbol for every degree that you could study at the University; and a cup that had a secret code to crack for a free coffee.

Dylon Bennett, MA Marketing Student was impressed with the children’s work; “The creative designs by the children were bright and colourful, illustrating the day’s events, the history of the university and marketing ideas that we thought were outstanding.”

The students had the very difficult task of picking a winning design which would be printed onto a real coffee cup for the child to keep. They decided on the “secret code” cup by Aleksandra as they were very impressed that she had really thought carefully about the marketing of the cup.

With the marketing task a great success, there was only one thing left to do – graduate! The children had the honour of a visit from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, Professor Susan Lea, who wore her traditional graduation robes for the occasion. Each child, wearing their graduation cap and gowns, was presented with a graduation certificate and shook the hand of the Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Lea said “We were delighted to welcome the children from Sidmouth Primary school to The University of Hull for the day. We know how important it is to nurture the aspirations of our young people and it is wonderful that the children feel inspired to go to University as a result of their visit.”

The children ended their day with the obligatory “cap throw” outside of the Business School and were given a farewell speech by Dr Haseeb Shabbir, Subject Group Head for Marketing and Business at The University of Hull. He said “It was an absolutely delightful day for both the children and our students. We are already looking forward to working with HEY Children’s University to plan another opportunity like this for local children”

Rose James, Partnership Manager at HEY Children’s University said “We would like to thank The University of Hull for providing this fantastic experience. We now have 22 children desperate to go to University and I know some of them didn’t think it was possible for them before today”

Growing up North: How can we inspire our children to have pride in the places they live?

HEY CU is extremely proud to have contributed to the recently published Children’s Commissioner’s report, “Growing up North”. Our Director, Natasha Banke, was invited to create a blog about a topic that HEY CU is passionate about : How can we inspire children to have pride in the places they live?

How can we inspire our children to have pride in the places they live? Children must understand the history of where they are from, they need to learn about the positive role models and ambassadors from their city and finally they need to understand what educational and career opportunities there are in the cities they live in.

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) is a charity that works with schools regionally in areas of disadvantage. Children are provided with opportunities outside the classroom that make the learning that goes on at school real and relevant to their futures. HEY CU inspires children to go on to careers and educational pathways they never knew existed, and we instil the confidence to do so in them. Giving children aspiration, confidence, curiosity about the world around them and resilience is the cornerstone of the charity’s work.

HEY CU was pleased to work in partnership with Anne Longfield the Children’s Commissioner and her team to help explore the issues affecting education in Hull and East Yorkshire. Together we visited a school who had taken part in our HEY CU Ambassadors Experience as well as other HEY CU workplace Experiences. The children visited the city centre to learn about what it means to be a good ambassador for your city and school. They interviewed members of the public (with adult help) and learned about what people love about their city. The children do some research on ambassadors and then do a trail of the city using a map to find the statues of seven ambassadors from Hull. We ask the children what they know about Hull before and after the experience. The difference in children’s attitudes towards their city changes dramatically once they know and understand what a brilliant place it is to live and how many inspiring people come from Hull. 86.4% of pupils who took part in the Ambassadors Experience in 2017 said the Experience made them feel proud of their city. The Ambassadors Experience is followed up with visits to workplaces of key employers in Hull, for example, Smith & Nephew, ARCO, P&O Ferries and Associated British Ports, the Centre for Digital Innovation, GGP, British Aerospace. It’s important for children to see first-hand the jobs that they can aspire to do locally. We also facilitate visits to educational institutions to show children the variety of educational pathways that are available to them such as the UTC in Hull and the University of Hull. It is important to inspire and educate children as early in life as possible so that they can know what opportunities are available. Children can only aspire to what they know exists.

Over 5000 children a year plus 203 living in foster care take part in HEY CU experiences every year. We see the significant impact these experiences make in children’s lives. The future is as bright as our young people are and we can’t wait to see what they become in the future.

The main findings in the Growing up North report can be found here.

You can read the full Growing up North report here.

Staff from the NHS take on Annapurna for HEY CU

On the 12th February, two NHS doctors took on the huge Annapurna Circuit in Nepal to raise money for Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University.

Brags and Muthu work full time for the NHS and had no previous experience of similar adventure.

They chose to dedicate the effort towards the education and development of children from the Hull and East Yorkshire region and so chose HEY CU as the charity to support. The funds raised will go towards helping children gain a wide range life experience, raise their ambitions  and discover their strengths.

They raised a fantastic £1330 on their fundraising page and they have even more expected to come in!

The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal.The total length of the route varies between 160–230 km (100-145 mi), depending on where motor transportation is used and where the trek is ended. This trek crosses two different river valleys and encircles the Annapurna massif. The path reaches its highest point at Thorung La pass (5416m/17769 ft), touching the edge of the Tibetan plateau. The trail passes along paddy fields and into subtropical forests, several waterfalls and gigantic cliffs, and various villages. Annapurna Circuit has often been voted as the best long distance trek in the world, as it combined, in its old full form, a wide variety of climate zones from tropics at 600 m asl to the arctic at 5416 m asl at the Thorong La pass and cultural variety from Hindu villages at the low foothills to the Tibetan culture of Manang Valley and lower Mustang.

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