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


By Emily Bull, Head of Creative.

Partnerships are hugely important. They bring together expertise, professionals and knowledge, whilst strengthening our programmes across the region for the young people we’re here to help.

We have made it a key priority to team up with other organisations that share our values, and we each bring our own skills, knowledge, and fresh ideas. By sharing what works best, we open even more opportunities for young people. Together, we're not just working side by side; we're also connecting communities with quality programs and creating bridges that help young people move smoothly from one opportunity to the next.

Nimbus Sounds is one of these partnerships. It is a three-year initiative funded by Youth Music which will help 2,500 young people aged 11 to 25 from underrepresented backgrounds in Bristol. It welcomes those experiencing barriers to progress their musical talent, enable  personal growth, and nurture their musical potential.  

Creative Youth Network,  Basement Studios, Trinity Arts Centre and Aspiration Elevation Creation (ACE), work together to create a journey for young people, many of whom have limited access to music provision. It allows young people to create music in settings that they feel comfortable and no matter what their level of experience - from within their youth clubs, through to bespoke courses and even up to developing original tracks and progressing into professional music opportunities. In working together, young people receive the high-quality music provision they deserve but may not otherwise be able to access.   

Good quality partnerships take work but they are worth it! This is what we have learned from our partnership working:

  1. Select your partners based on what you’re trying to achieve. Nimbus Sounds partners  have worked together for years, through various projects and consortiums. We know we have common values and ways of working. We reached out to each other knowing it made more professional and sectoral sense to bring our provision together rather than duplicating it. We also knew that together we would be better: our joint expertise, experience and approach would create a more powerful offer than any one of us could achieve alone.
  1. Work together from the very start.  All Nimbus Sounds partners were involved in preparing the funding bid to Youth Music, which, in turn, made this partnership possible. In doing so, really clear understanding of each of our roles, our shared targets and outcomes, and a shared budget. There were then no surprises when it came to delivery.
  1. Set up Terms of Reference. In our first partnership meeting we created a Term of Reference for our partnership. This included how we all wanted to work together, how we wanted to communicate with one another, and a shared agreement on how we would approach the project delivery.
  1. Clear understanding of roles and responsibilities.  Knowing what each partner is doing, and agreed roles and responsibilities means there are no misunderstandings, and no room for assumptions, which ultimately can lead to delivery breakdown. 
  1. Have regular points of contact –  Nimbus Sounds partners meet quarterly (this was agreed in our first meeting): this felt appropriate, and still does, as it allows for a regular, dedicated time to receive updates, share learning, and make plans (based on these learnings) - and to just come together to continue building our relationship and partnership. Chairing and hosting responsibilities are shared among partners, spreading out leadership. Meeting agendas are also set by the partners as a collective. 
  1. Share when things aren’t going to plan – while it’s not always easy, it’s important to share amongst partners when things aren’t going to plan or when plans change. This may be that targets aren’t being met or delivery needs change. There is usually an understandable reason for why things aren’t working and sharing can open up valuable conversations about what can be done differently.
  1. Keeping the reason for partnership at the forefront of conversations. It’s easy to fall into autopilot.  During partners meetings, we are always asking whether there are different ways of working or improving opportunities for young people, whilst discussing sharing practice and resources.

“We also feel working alongside our Nimbus Sounds partners has been very beneficial, elevating each of our organisations and setting a good example in our sector around partnership working. Being able to share knowledge, opportunities and insights has been extremely positive, and we look forward to seeing how our partnership's plans to implement further collaboration materialises in Year 2.”

-Darren Alexander Lynch-Burton, AC

Nimbus Sounds is supported by Youth Music and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

How can we help?