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


I grew up in the UK in the 1990s, which meant:

  • Gay marriage was illegal.
  • Gay couples could not adopt children.
  • The age of consent for gay and bi men was five years higher than anyone else.

It was not until my last year of secondary school that it stopped being illegal for my teachers to talk about people being gay. My youth leaders outside of school never talked about it. When I became a youth worker I didn’t know any workers who weren’t straight or cis.

I have been a youth worker for 11 years. I volunteered with young people for 8 years before that. Maybe I have always been a queer youth worker.

However, it was only since I began a relationship with a woman that it became something significant for my work. Oh, I’d had conversations about LGBTQ stuff with young people before, I’d supported gay young people, I’d put on film nights and worried about homophobic language. But this, more than anything else, brought it to the forefront for me.

I started working increasingly with young people who are LGBTQ+ but I also began to think more radically about how to make other spaces more inclusive.

As a queer youth worker, I am no longer just trying to make youth spaces safe for LGBTQ+ young people who access them. I also am making them safe for me to also be myself. And it’s only when I’m myself that young people get the best youth worker I can be.


How do you create safe spaces in your organisation for LGBTQ+ staff? What about young people? 

How can we help?