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


As part of Dyslexia awareness week, I wanted to share my story of living with dyslexia and how it didn’t stop me from going to university and doing an apprenticeship. I want to lend a helping hand to those who may be struggling with their dyslexia by dispelling some misconceptions and tools that have helped me throughout my studies and career. 


Ten percent of the population are believed to be dyslexic, but it is still often poorly understood. With the right support, the strengths and talents of dyslexic people can really shine.

- The British Dyslexia Association  

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory, and verbal processing (British Dyslexia Association, 2022). There is no cure for dyslexia, but there are many places where you can go for help and manage some of the effects of living with dyslexia. There's a  section that will go into some tips that have made living with dyslexia a bit better for me.

3 Common Misconceptions:

Dyslexia affects your intelligence:

This is completely false, there have been many studies that have debunked this misconception. There is no correlation between intelligence and dyslexia.


Dyslexia can be ‘outgrown’ when you learn to read and write:

Unfortunately, dyslexia isn’t curable through learning. For me, there are some words that no matter how many times I see and write them, I’ll still have trouble spelling them. It is manageable, through support and tools, but it is a lifelong disability.


People with Dyslexia see words backwards:

Dyslexia affects people differently, but for the most part, this is a very common misconception. Some dyslexics may get letters like ‘b’ and ‘d’ mixed up because they’re very similar, but the words being scrambled on a page is a myth 


 My Experiences and some advice: 

I am not ashamed of my dyslexia; a lot of people often try to hide that they have it. But because I don’t, I got the support I needed to be successful in my studies and career

 - Chantel, Marketing apprentice (me)

On the point of disclosing dyslexia, I wasn’t clinically diagnosed until I got to University, but during secondary and sixth form, I did get help from the school when I shared my concerns that I wasn’t at the same level of spelling and reading. They were so helpful and got me extra tutoring lessons and I got extra time for exams, which defiantly helped with my exam anxiety.  Even in my career

I disclose I have dyslexia so that my employers are aware of why I may read a bit slower or take a little more time to complete tasks. It’s very scary to disclose this information to employers as it can feel like you may be discriminated against or not get the job because of it, but dyslexia is under the Equality Act of 2010, so employers have a duty to make adjustments for dyslexic staff in the workplace. So, there is no reason to be afraid to disclose your dyslexia in any context!


My experience in a professional setting with my dyslexia has been better than I could’ve anticipated. At CYN, there have been reasonable adjustments made for me in the workspace. I am given a bit more extra time to complete tasks, as sometimes it takes me longer t comprehends what I am supposed to do. Also, as an apprentice, my apprenticeship provider has helped me tremendously with my dyslexia. I have a personal learning support tutor who helps me with assignments and any adjustments that I need in my course. Dyslexia has not held me back in the slightest when pursuing my career, and it never should.

Chantel is a real asset to our team, and I'm delighted to hear that, by working together to make reasonable adjustments, we've been able to ensure that she flourishes in her role. Kudos to Chantel and I hope that her success can help inspire the next generation of young emerging talent!

-Mark Coates, CEO, Creative Youth Network.

Apps and tools for dyslexia: 

Whether you’re in education or work, spelling, and grammar are essential, and with Dyslexia it can be very hard to spot some of your own grammatical or spelling mistakes. With automated tools, it's one less thing to worry about when you're drafting an e-mail or writing an important piece of coursework.

Natural ReaderIf you have trouble reading there is a great app called Natural Reader, which converts text to speech so it reads out any text, from webpages, e-books, sites anything really! Also if you have an iPhone, if you hold down on any text and highlight it, there is a text-to-speech option which is great for when you're on the go and you need something read out to you.

If you have trouble writing long pieces of work or you're really worried about your spelling and grammar, there is a dictation tool within Microsoft Word that you could use. All you have to do is speak into it and it converts your speech into text. I find this tool extremely helpful when I have to write long pieces of work as I'm a slow typer, so by dictating I don't have to spend hours writing.


MindMeister – Apps on Google PlayIf you're in education or work there is a high likelihood that you will need to take notes and for people who have dyslexia, listening, taking notes then comprehending what is being said is very difficult. MindMeister is a great tool for visualizing your notes. it's a free app that helps you mind map, collaborate with classmates or teachers, and input notes to make them more visual, which is much easier to digest than big blocks of words.


Grammarly Business Reviews, Ratings & Features 2023 | Gartner Peer Insights

Dyslexia can affect different people in many different ways. For example, for me, I have trouble with spelling, so I often use Grammarly to spell-check everything and to make sure my grammar is correct. Grammarly is completely free though there is a paid version, the free version does an amazing job.

Practical things to do to help with dyslexia are using larger fonts to make reading easier, as well as using double spacing on Mircosoft Word when writing long pieces of work. For me, when the writing is small and close together, I find it hard to track the wording and end up jumping a few sentences which makes it so hard to comprehend.


A tip I have for parents is to be patient, My poor mother didn’t know I had dyslexia growing up, and neither did I and when I would perform badly in spelling and reading tests she would try to help me and end up getting frustrated because I just wouldn’t get it. That’s when a lot of the shame and self-doubt developed, so if your child is struggling it may be worth doing some research and getting help from the links below!


Places to get help if you’re really struggling with dyslexia:


Bristol Dyslexia Centre


The dyslexia association


British Dyslexia association



Feel like you may have dyslexia?

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