Creative YOU

Creativity is everywhere. Opportunity is not.     

We are part of the solution. The secret is in our name. Every year Creative Youth Network gives thousands of young people a taste and thirst for the arts and culture and the joy, life-skills and opportunity they bring.   

But we want more.   

Creative YOU is our campaign showcasing how we, you and the engaged, emerging and amazing young creatives we support, come together. 

We want to reveal how, together, we are ambition, quality, cultural democracy and social mobility in action. 

Every young person deserves the right to access creativity and development opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

It all starts with education.

If all young people have access to creative subjects in school, then talented young people from all backgrounds can pursue their passion, develop crucial skills needed in so many industries and improve their wellbeing.

1. Pledge

Add your name and join the many people passionate about bringing creativity back into our schools.   

With all the pledges we’ll be reaching out to headteachers in Bristol and the South West. We hope this will encourage local academies to give more space to creativity in their curriculum.  

Bristol, being the creative city we know and love, can pave the way for other regions to do the same, showcasing the true value of creativity.  



2. Sign up

Join us by signing up to our newsletter where we share best practice of how to support young people. 

sign up 


3. Find out more

Join us by reading and sharing our CreativeYOU report which shows how our work brings opportunities for creative expression and enables young people to explore their talent, regardless of background or circumstance.  

Download our Creative YOU report


The National Youth Agency has awarded Creative Youth Network its NYA Quality Mark at Outstanding Level... and we're the first and only organisation in England to receive their highest classification!


The Quality Mark equips youth organisations with the knowledge and tools to ensure the highest possible standard of youth work is being delivered. Creative Youth Network was recognised for its progressive approach to widening participation of young people across the organisation as well as its proven track record in co-designing programmes that recognise – and act upon – the needs and interests of the region’s many diverse communities.

Rooted in Trust

Our approach is rooted in building trust between young people and their assigned youth worker, who work together to identify needs and achieve outcomes to help young people reach their potential. The award commended this youth work under the National Youth Agency’s three key industry standards: young people’s personal and social development and learning, quality of practice and leadership and management.


We are thrilled to have secured the NYA Quality Mark at Outstanding level. Day in, day out I see the incredible work that our delivery teams do, working with some of the most under-served and under-represented young people in our society. To have the quality of that work externally recognised, and in particular to be the first organisation recognised at Outstanding level in our region, is testament to an amazing team that we – and our region’s young people – are lucky to have.

 – Mark Coates, Creative Youth Network’s CEO

The award is given as we launch our 5-year Youth Participation Strategy. This strategy outlines Creative Youth Network’s commitment to amplifying the voices of young people. This work has been gaining momentum over the last few years and provides young people with opportunities to express themselves and meaningfully influence decisions that affect them, internally at Creative Youth Network and in society. This includes our unique ‘We The 33’ event series where all keynote speakers are young people who are given a platform to influence local decision makers on important issues from violence to climate change.

Excellence in Youth Voice and Participation

Laura Keegan, Quality Practice Manager, NYA said: “I am delighted to award Creative Youth Network the Quality Mark as they illustrated numerous examples of outstanding practice across their various sites, successfully engaging young people and facilitating strong peer to peer relationships.”


Participation, Active Involvement and Youth Voice are areas of excellence for Creative Youth Network. I was impressed by the extent to which young people are engaged with decision making, helping to shape the charity’s strategy and propelling outstanding levels of quality youth work.

– Laura Keegan, Quality Practice Manager, NYA 

We work with 7,500 young people a year across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, running 12 youth centres and offering a wide range of support services and positive activities, including a wide range of creative programmes for which we're particularly known. More than two-thirds of these young people are from under-represented and seldom-heard communities. In 2022, young people achieved 24,000 recorded outcomes through our programmes, ranging from improved mental health to more positive personal relationships, improved school attendance and improved self-confidence.

🎥 Watch our video on the Power of Youth Work

>> Video by Oona Chanfi

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