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


We’ll all have seen that Camila from Kids Company is back on the scene with her new book. I’m going to start by saying I haven’t read it yet. But I am going to respond to the various news items and letters she has written over the past month or so. And, as a reminder, Creative Youth Network was their Landlord and we were tasked by Bristol City Council to support those young people who were left hanging after the collapse of Kidsco.

Most of all I find it such a shame that Camila spends most of her time in the ‘he said, she said’ rhetoric of conspiracy. Her interviews, letters and articles across our media are still rehearsing the old tired accusations of government, funders, the police and anyone else who got in her way. What gets lost in this diatribe is the message she doesn’t spend enough time on. That is the problems facing children’s and young peoples services across the UK.

Voluntary and local authority providers all acknowledge that vulnerable Children and Young People receive less support and have less opportunities than they did several years ago. From where Creative Youth Network sits, supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in our city, the statutory services of Youth Offending Teams, CAMHS, Social and Youth Services and others are being cut back to the bone. This leaves staff in both the Statutory and Voluntary sectors stretched to the point where we are not providing the sorts of services that prevent the misery of wasted lives and cost more in the long run. Across the UK, children’s services are struggling to cope with and fund the job of picking up the pieces of these damaged lives.

This is the real story of austerity played out in small corners of our towns and cities where young peoples lives do not reach their potential because they don’t have the right support when they need it.
Camila talks of this briefly in interviews but spends interview after interview blaming others for the organisational problems she created. As their landlord, Kids Company rarely paid their bills on time and, when Bristol City Council asked Creative Youth Network to pick up the 600 young people Kids Company were working with when they collapsed, we received very incomplete files for 152. We asked repeatedly and no more were forthcoming.

I wish Camila would accept some responsibility for what happened. Reserves are there to see you through difficult times – that’s why they are important, money needs to be managed properly and good records of the young people you work with must be kept. By managing our organisations well and accepting responsibility when we get things wrong we can get to the heart of the matter – making sure our vulnerable children and young people receive the support they need! This is a story that needs to be heard!

How can we help?