Creative YOUCreativity 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. PLEDGE 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 About us Blog Ultra-marathon hero delivers inspirational speech to young people for Sport Relief Welcome, Ben Smith! On Friday 16th March 2016, young people at The Station had the incredible opportunity to meet and be inspired by Ben Smith, the founder of the multi award-winning The 401 Challenge. Funded by Comic Relief and #iwill National Lottery Fund, our sessions engage some of the most disadvantaged young people in Bristol. The 401 Challenge saw inspirational Ben Smith complete 401 marathons in 401 days. Since then he has achieved greatly, receiving the Helen Rollason Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year show in 2016. Now, he uses his heroic story to inspire others, be it young or old, aiming to end negative stigmas surrounding bullying and mental health. Ben visited the project and delivered a speech about how sport has changed his life and mental health. He then had the opportunity to meet the young people and see first-hand how money raised during Sport Relief will be used. Inspiration for young people We work with young people facing disadvantages in Bristol. All of the young people experience barriers that are preventing them from flourishing. Many of them are marginalised, unemployed, not in education, suffer poor mental health, are in care (or are care leavers), are asylum seekers, refugees, disabled, from low income households or are an ethnic minority. Our work helps young people build trusting relationships, get young voices heard and provides a wide range of activities that help young people reach their goals. Young people were inspired by Ben's story and one of them felt confident enough to share their own story of being involved in a serious car accident, and feeling powerless afterwards and finding strength through sport. They were grateful and saw the importance of Ben's work, inspiring them to look forward to the future. Ben Smith said: It’s a real privilege to meet so many wonderful people and see how Comic Relief funding enables them to come together. Sport Relief is a great campaign that promotes two of my biggest passions, sport and fundraising. Having struggled with poor mental health and feelings of exclusion in the past, this year’s campaign is close to my heart and what better way to support than to get up doing steps and being active. I will be sure to get in my Sport Relief steps over the next week using the app! Nick Young, our Creative Director said: I am thrilled to have someone such as Ben come along to our session and inspire some of our young people with his story. We are grateful for Comic Relief funding and how this supports programmes that we run at Creative Youth Network. Our organisation brings together young people from across Bristol and works to support them in a wide range of ways, and something like this is a welcome addition to our ongoing work. The project is funded equally by Comic Relief and the #iwill fund, which is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding. Last time around, for Sport Relief 2016, the generous people across the West raised and donated more than £1.2m. This money has been hard at work in the local area, with more than 100 projects funded across the region. For more information on how to get involved with this year’s Sport Relief campaign, download the Sport Relief App or go to sportrelief.com. To get involved in inspirational youth sessions, check out our programme. How can we help?