HECan Launches in South Yorkshire

Thursday 10th May 2018

Nearly fifty South Yorkshire young men have embarked on a six-month motivational initiative to aid them in progressing to Higher Education: HECan.

The HECan project has been developed by HeppSY+ and spans the rest of the academic year. The students involved will participate in a sustained programme of activity to introduce to them both the opportunities available and benefits of higher education.

Across the UK, twice as many women go on to higher education as men. The HECan project is aimed at targeting young men in South Yorkshire who have the potential to achieve but are most at risk of missing out. Those involved will work to increase their confidence, learn more about higher education, engage with positive role models who have been to university and most importantly have fun along the way, gaining valuable experiences!

The targeted group has been selected from six schools: Chaucer School, Ecclesfield School, Mexborough Academy, Wath Comprehensive School, St Puis X Catholic High School and Trinity Academy.

The project initially launched on Wednesday 21st March with a welcome session for students and parents at Sheffield Hallam University. Attendees enjoyed an introduction to the project from Hepp Director Mike Garnock-Jones and Schools Programme Manager Emma Nicholls, followed by an interactive presentation from Push Talks, including audience participation in a number of team building games. The session closed with parents listening to a presentation on student finance, and a selfie challenge for students.

HECan Launch


The initiative is now well under way and during April participating students had their first taste of university life, enjoying an evening of socialising with their peers at Pizza Express.

Over the next six months the students will also:

Each of these activities will be followed up with in-school sessions led by positive male role models, including input from Commando Joe’s. Our in school Higher Education Engagement Assistants and Higher Education Progression Advisers will also support all the students on the programme.

The programme will cumulate in September with a graduation ceremony at the University of Sheffield, where students and their parents will be invited to celebrate the achievements of all involved.