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 My experience cycling to work During lockdown I got myself a £50 bike from Gumtree. It was extremely rusty, only one of the brakes worked and it had minimal gears but I loved it! It was so nice to be able to go out for bike rides especially as I live so close to the Bristol to Bath cycle path. At this point I had never cycled on roads, I just went on my bike for fun and wasn’t interested in commuting but that all changed when we were able to return to the office. I live in Fishponds and previously had always been able to walk to work. Now my journey to and from work was a lot longer and reliant on the buses I decided to give cycling to work a try. As I wasn’t confident on my bike I would cycle down the cycle path to the city centre and then walk the rest of the way, pushing my bike. I didn’t want to navigate the roundabouts (especially the Old market one) and I didn’t think I was a good enough cyclist to earn my place in the rush hour traffic. A friend of mine then told me about LifeCycle; a charity which offers support to cyclists in Bristol. They do this by: Offering people access to working bicycles Helping people gain the skills and confidence to cycle wherever they want, whenever they want Offering extra support to anyone who faces barriers to unlock the benefits of cycling Strengthening the cycling sector: they train new bike mechanics, cycle instructors and partner with Local Authorities, businesses and other charities looking to boost cycling levels I had a look on their website and saw I could claim 3 x FREE cycling lessons with a 1:1 tutor. After applying, I was matched with a cycling instructor in my postcode and the process was really quick! I told them I wanted to gain confidence in road cycling and to improve my commute to and from work. The lessons were really helpful and I would recommend them to anyone who rides a bike. The tutor made me feel so at ease and he completely changed my outlook on cycling and gave me the confidence to ride on the roads (and even around roundabouts). You can tailor the lessons to cover specifically what you need the to. It is such an amazing resource accessible to all. After I’d had my lessons and began cycling to and from the office more regularly, I decided it was about time I got another bike. The hills were feeling particularly tough as I was left with only 2 working gear options(!). I decided to look into the Cycle to Work scheme and found out I could get a brand new bike at a discounted rate and that I could pay for it through an automatic deduction from my monthly CYN pay. I found a bike which I really liked through browsing the online catalogue but there is also an option to have a chat over the phone with one of the Cycle to Work scheme staff and they can tell you which of the bikes they offer best suit your needs. When my bike arrived, I was so pleased with it that I went out for a ride straight away. There are so many gears on it! Having a new bike has made riding to and from work much more enjoyable and if you are interested in starting cycling or updating your current wheels, I would highly recommend getting a bike through the Cycle to Work scheme. Another bonus is that the bike came with lights and an allen key set so you are fully kitted out. Now that the weather has gotten colder, I have become a bit (read: a lot) more reluctant to cycle to and from work but writing this has made me feel excited to get back on my bike again. How can we help?