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 West of England Works project has come to an end after six years of helping young people with advice to get into their desired careers and training. The West of England Works project was a partnership that aimed to help unemployed and economically inactive people in the West of England find employment. The project was funded by The Big Lottery and European Social Fund. Since 2017, the West of England Works team at Creative Youth Network has helped over 400 young people develop their career prospects.

How many young people has West of England Works Supported?

How has West of England Works helped young people?

✅ 280 participants reported improved confidence and said they feel better prepared to seek employment

✅ 178 participants reported an improvement in their ability to understand and manage their mental health and wellbeing

✅ 293 participants reported having an improved awareness of training opportunities and feel better equipped to access them

✅ 133 participants undertook work tasters, work-experience, volunteering or directly progressed into employment


From the people that have been supported by the West of England works project five of CYN participants* went on to win various awards:


Amy: Award for Showing Resilience on your journey

Amy has really benefited from the project. When she first arrived, she was so anxious, depressed and lost in life. Amy has now started education, secured a job, and has tackled her mental health head on. Amy is thriving.

Ellis: Award for Super Influencer

Ellis has been living in the UK for just over 2 years. During this time, he's been able to manage and create several YouTube channels. Recently he's kept these channels up to date and increased his following while completing training programs, improving his cover letters and CVs, and applying to several jobs. He's a fountain of knowledge regarding social media and will soon be learning about Digital Marketing through the Princes Trust.

Blake: Award for Improving your confidence

When Blake signed up, he was extremely socially isolated, did not go out and really struggled to speak to people. On his journey, he started attending Youth Clubs, took part in a Princes Trust Course, joined a football team which he is now on the main team for and has started a college course including a work placement. He's come so far!!

Jaylee: Award for having a pause and carrying on to succeed

Jayden has come really far since working with me. We thought we'd have very quick success with a place at Boom satsuma, but it ended up not being the right route for Jaylee, even though she really tried to attend it was just too much for her. She picked herself up and was willing to try again in a new learning environment, Youth Education Service, where she's currently studying. She was really brave and is going to be starting at City of Bristol College in September! She's been persistent despite devastating anxiety, and I hope that resilience carries her far in life.

Logan: Award for Improving your confidence

Logan has made massive improvements since being on the project and has been doing things he did not believe he would be able to.

Success Stories

We would like to share some of the exceptional success stories that have come from young people that have utilised the West of England Works service.

Farhath's Story

Farhath joined West of England Works in July 2017, having left school and not having had a paid job before. She is autistic and was looking to gain more confidence through the project. She hoped to go to university the following year and was seeking support with her application, as well as to find a part-time job to help her financially. 5 years on, Farhath began working full-time as a Business Support Administrator at Creative Youth Network in September 2022 and has become a treasured member of the CYN team!

Within just a couple of months on the project, Farhath began a 3-month full-time work placement at M&S. At the end of 2017, she also took part in a 6-week snow-sport course through the Tomorrow’s People Engage programme. This ignited a passion for snow sports for Farhath and is something she still talks about in the office at CYN!

During her time on the project, Farhath was supported by her engagement worker Zoe to develop her art and design portfolio and with her application to university. She received an unconditional offer from Bath Spa University.

In 2018, Farhath completed a 3-week work placement with BT with support from Zoe. She really enjoyed this, and her confidence grew as she gained more diverse work experience. She consistently attended CYN Job Club and worked with Zoe to apply to for a role in Burger King at Bristol Airport.

Zoe helped her to prepare for the interview and she worked her first shift at Bristol Airport in June 2018, just under a year since she first joined WoEW.

In Farhath’s own words:

During my time with West of England Works, there were a few things I did such as stop motion animation, music production, baking, prosthetic makeup, graphic t-shirt designing etc. This helped me to expand and take interest in Music and Animation (which have become casual hobbies). I got some animation software and musical instruments as well as tools for whittling and sculpting. I am considering making animated content to put online.

Through West of England Works, Farhath was not only able to secure her first paid job at Bristol Airport and a place at university, but she was also able to explore her interests and discover new ones. 5 years later, Farhath’s positive experience with WoEW led her to come back to Creative Youth Network, but this time as a valued member of the Business Services team.


Liam's Story

When Liam* started on the West of England Works project, he was very anxious and lacking in confidence. Liam worked with their Engagement Worker to identify the barriers he was facing and goals he wanted to achieve. They identified goals around working on his confidence so he could gain part-time work in a kitchen, alongside working to improve his mental health. The WOEW Engagement Worker introduced the participant to his local community centre and introduced him to the Square Food Foundation. They decided to apply for a volunteering position with them after having an initial meeting with some of the staff members there. The Engagement Worker advocated on the participants behalf and worked with the participant to identify support needs whilst volunteering, for example, ability to keep his hood up during volunteering. After volunteering for a number of weeks we received this update from a member of staff there:

Liam has fitted into the team really well.

He has come out of his shell a fair amount and is having conversations with staff etc…

He has been doing kitchen prep along with weighing ingredients out ready for classes.

He has helped with general kitchen maintenance.

We’ve trained him to make different types of bread.

In short, participant has been fantastic at Square Food and we look forward to working with him in the future.

– Square Food Foundation

Through volunteering and interventions with his Engagement Worker, the participants confidence has increased. He has excelled so much in the volunteering role that Square Food Foundation has now employed him as a Kitchen Assistant and is really happy in their new employment. We’re thrilled that they have achieved their goals throughout their time on the project.

*Names have been changed for anonymity  

Although we're sad that the project has come to an end, we can't help but be so happy that we have been able to support so many young people in finding a job and kickstarting their careers.

If you are seeking guidance or advice with your career options, read more about our Step to Future service here.

Step to future – find out MORE  

*Names have been changed for anonymity  
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