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


As part of #iwill week we were asked to consider, Are we really working together? What we need to learn about working across sectors.’ Here are some of the ways we’re working across sectors to help young people affect meaningful change.

Here at Creative Youth Network, we always make a conscious effort to work together with our young people to support social activism and amplify their voices on various topics – they have stories to share that are relevant to a whole host of sectors and we strive to support them to affect real change in the areas that matter to them. 

We the 33 Events – Bringing Multiple Sectors Together to Listen to Young People

I think that conversations is where it should start – I think conversation is a great place to overcome stereotypes. Mo | speaking at We the 33 panel on inequality

We hold regional events called We the 33, in which decision-makers from a range of sectors – including local government, education, and mental health services – come together to listen to the experiences and opinions of our young people. At each event, we ask those involved to make pledges on how they will take forward the ideas of the young people and we monitor the progress being made in key areas.


Sovereign #iwill Network – Supporting High Quality Youth Social Action Across the Country

Youth involvement is so crucial for a young person because it gives a sense of belonging – it enhances the sense of connectedness within a community. Working with young people can be so beneficial to the community by adults and young people working together to make the community a better place.

– Doaa, Sovereign Youth Panel

We work in partnership with Sovereign Housing as their expert youth partner, to support the Sovereign #iwill network and fund. This involved supporting the Sovereign Youth Panel set criteria and award Sovereign #iwill grants, supporting with the coordination of the network and leading 6 Innovation Labs per year, where network members can co-creative solutions. We also offer support and guidance outside of scheduled meetings and events for network members.

I think young people offer a different perspective on life. They’ve experience a different lifestyle, so I think that’s quite a unique perspective… and it can really benefit these decision making processes.

– Emily, Sovereign Youth Panel

It gives opportunity for people to make a change… It gives fresh new ideas.

– Jack, Sovereign Youth Panel


🎥 Watch – The Benefits of Youth Engagement in Organisations

This video features members of the Sovereign Youth Panel discussing the importance of youth engagement in organisations.

The Courts Youth Advisory Board – Exploring the Cultural Heritage Sector and Creative Opportunities

I’ve experienced this first-hand – making the leap from study into work has, at times, felt like diving over a gaping chasm, with the doors to opportunity gripped tightly shut. – Lucy, Youth Advisory Board Member

We’re currently redeveloping Bristol’s old Magistrates Courts into a Creative Enterprise Hub. Providing space for young creatives to collaborate, explore and develop with creative businesses, The Courts will offer workspace to organisations with a vested interest in youth development. As part of this protection our Youth Advisory Board, is working alongside us and our partners, assisting and advising on The Courts’ redevelopment. This is giving our young people an insight into the cultural heritage sector and allowing them to make a lasting mark on the city, whilst also helping to improve career opportunities in the creative sectors.


What Next?

We’ve learnt so much from these events and activities, and we’re excited to expand this collaboration to involve even more sectors, whether it be to influence policy, practicalities, or opportunities. Our young people are currently particularly passionate about sustainability and climate change, poverty, and the cost of living crisis as well as infrastructure and public transport – all of which have a huge impact on the lives of young people. 

There’s always more work to be done in terms of cross-sector collaboration and over the next year we’ll actively seek out more opportunities to bring sectors together to listen to youth voices and encourage participation from even more local businesses, government officials and community organisations. We’ll build on our learning from monitoring progress and look at further ways to ensure young people’s voices are being listened to by the right people, to make the impact that’s needed.

Are You Interested in Supporting Young People to Influence Decisions?

If you’re part of a business or organisation then we’d love to hear from you to discuss ways we could work together. Understanding the viewpoints of our young people is beneficial in many decision-making processes, across a spectrum of sectors. Please contact us to find out more!

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How can we help?