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. 

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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


Lushly layered and thrilling harmonies rung out across Creative Youth Network on Silver Street as Metro Mayor Dan Norris popped in to see how a £10,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority he leads has supported the next generation of creative young West of Englanders.

The Metro Mayor met some of Bristol and South Gloucestershire's budding melody makers as he toured the much-loved charity’s flagship youth centre, The Station. Mayor Norris was even treated to a performance from over 20 talented 12-to-17-year-olds participating in a three-day summer music-making course.

Before watching the debut performance from the teenage creatives, the Metro Mayor met CEO Mark Coates who explained how the mayoral cash helped develop the youth group's programmes in 2021, providing skills, training and employment opportunities for over 320 young people in and around Bristol and South Gloucestershire to pursue a career in the arts.

73 per cent of over 2,500 previous participants in programmes at the award-winning charity have gone on to get paid jobs, with 22% getting placements at some of the West of England’s biggest and best creative groups including Bristol Beacon, Arnolfini and Watershed.

Mr Norris said he was delighted the Combined Authority financial support meant deserving young people could get a helping hand onto the first rung of the ladder in their successful careers in the "world-leading” West of England creative industries. He said: 

It’s a pleasure to meet such enthusiastic Bristol and South Glos young people – their energy is infectious, and I can see they are going to make a real impact in the arts. I’m so pleased a £10,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority I lead means even more creative West of Englanders will get the opportunities they need to go and thrive. Creativity works in the West of England - we are a region of innovation and imagination, with a truly world-leading creative industry sector, and I’m proud to back the creative talent here.

– Dan Norris,

Metro Mayor | WECA

Speaking about the visit, Creative Youth Network CEO Mark Coates commented:

We were honoured to have Metro Mayor Dan Norris see our Music Making Summer Course in action at The Station, and hear from some of our young people about why building their skills and finding out more about the music industry is so important to them. We are hugely grateful for funding from the West of England Combined Authority which has come at a crucial time to help some of the young people most affected by the pandemic. It developed our approach of bringing high-quality creative practice together with youth work, unlocking further funding as well as helping us reach more young people who are bursting with potential but who lack the opportunity to start careers in the creative industries.

These courses and the wider creative programmes at Creative Youth Network offer creative work fused with youth work and specialist professionals from the arts to bring programmes to people from Bristol and South Glos who traditionally struggle to access the arts.

Visit the West of England Combined Authority Website

🎥 Watch the video...

Featuring original tracks created by young people from our Summer 2022 Music Making course.

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