Inspiring the adults of tomorrow with Hull Children’s University

Published: Monday 20th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is Universal Children’s Day so we caught up with Natasha Barley, Director of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University.

Set up by Deputy Head John Buttrick just over two decades ago, the charity now helps children across the region to expand their horizons, raise their expectations and find the motivation to live more fulfilled lives.

The charity does this through a range of experience days and educational programmes.

“John wanted to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds opportunities they may not have otherwise,” explains Natasha. “We want them to see that there is more to the world than just the end of their street.”

Experiences include trips to the capital, a visit to the Houses of Parliament and even a sleepover at the Natural History Museum.

“In the last year, we have added four new experiences to our offer for schools: Marine Biologist for a Day, Run a Hotel for a Day, Firefighter for a Day, and a Bempton Cliffs Sea Bird Scientist Day,” she tells us. “We have so many exciting new things in development too, including a Maritime History workshop and an excursion to Edinburgh.”

Natasha believes that giving children these experiences will encourage them to have more ambition and feel proud of their city.

“In Hull, 1 in 3 children grow up in poverty and our city has the highest percentage of unemployment in the country. By showing children what they could achieve and the places they could go, we will be able to break the cycle of deprivation,” Natasha continues.

Shockingly, she points out, many children don’t get to travel far beyond the end of their streets: “We want to give them a chance to see the fantastic history and culture of their hometown.”

“2017 has been an amazing year for HEY Children’s University; we’ve worked with more children than ever before – almost 6,000. We’ve also secured funding to carry on work with schools in areas of deprivation and plan to extend our service to even more pupils.”

The University has also won multiple awards this year, including a Hull Digital Award for Best Use of Technology within Education for their Digitull platform and a Golden Apple Community Award.

“We are always looking for additional volunteers to join us on experiences with the children and fundraising volunteers, so if anyone is interested please get in touch,” Natasha urges.

If you want to help Hull’s next generation to realise its full potentials, whether you’re a business or an individual, please contact Natasha and her team on 01482 466045 or pop in to see them in their offices at 65 Salmon Grove.

In the meantime, find out more on the Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University website.  

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Published: Monday 20th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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