To meet your brief of a) performing a hydrogenation and b) using Raney nickel, but performed in the safest manner, I would use aluminium-nickel alloy.
This is cheaper than sponge/Raney nickel and easier to handle i.e
It's not pyrophoric until activated.
I would advise the use of nitrogen, but not a sweep as it can be detrimental to the procedure I'll outline.
I won't give molar details, but work on about 20% of alloy by mass vs your substrate to start with. I won't quote solvents either as I don't know if you need to isolate your hexane or not, nor how you intend to monitor the reaction.
If you just need to do the reaction, go for a less volatile solvent.
To perform the hydrogenation itself, slowly and in a controlled manner with constant monitoring of temperature, add 4M NaOH. This reacts with the aluminium in the alloy to make Raney nickel. At the same time, hydrogen is generated which the nickel can adsorb and hydrogenate your substrate with.
Bear in mind that the NaOH solution introduces a lot of water, so if your solvent is immiscible with water, your stirring needs to be all the better.
You could use solvents that mix with a lot of water e.g. 1-butanol can contain up to ~20% water, but from which the bulk aqueous layer can be separated if needs be.
So long as the NaOH solution is added slowly enough, you can control the temperature. One way to manage is this is to only introduce 25% of your solution to be added at one time. That way if you accidentally add it all, it shouldn't go too crazy and boil/eject the contents uncontrollably.
Once complete, you can decant off the liquid but ensure you leave water behind to cover the catalyst. Rinse and decant until the pH is 8 or below. Then you have some options:
Dispose of the wet catalyst into bags that go off site from your school for disposal, using the appropriate school procedures or,
Use dilute (1M) HCl to gradually deactivate the nickel. Again, add very slowly over hours if necessary. Then follow appropriate waste disposal guidelines for the nickel solution.