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 Safe Space | A Community Inclusion Group Safe Space is a community group for Sovereign Housing residents to connect with each other and take part in fun activities. In this blog, Jess talks about where the idea came from and her hopes for the group: In January I received an email from my housing association, Sovereign, recruiting young residents for their pioneering Youth Panel. Based on my own personal experiences as a social housing tenant, my background as a Sociology graduate, and previous employment with a different housing association, it was a no-brainer to sign up. Facilitated by Creative Youth Network, the panel is established to address the changing needs of young people in the housing sector and ensure these are reflected in Sovereign’s services. It’s been refreshing to have a platform that considers important societal, environmental and even political matters that intersect into the lives of young people facing adversity in modern Britain, but what I did not expect from it, was the opportunity to develop my own grassroots project; a community inclusion group, Safe Space. Back in March, Sovereign’s Communities team joined one of our monthly Panel meetings to discuss some of the types of support offered to young residents; this includes advice on money matters, access to digital technology and considerable resources into employment and training opportunities. All of this is great, but led me to contemplate an often unacknowledged group; those unable to work, whether for illness/disability, childcare, or caring responsibility reasons. When questioned, the Communities team and Panel realised there was a gap in service provision, and I knew this was my chance for change. The idea of what it means to ‘belong’ in a community is one which has achieved greater attention throughout the Covid-19 pandemic; while it has been encouraging to observe neighbourhoods pull together to deliver supplies to some of us shielding, the highlighted importance of ‘bubbles’ for single households and raised awareness of the impact of isolation, it has made me wonder what measures are needed to ensure such spirit continues. I happen to live alone, and remember the daunting vulnerability I felt when I received my ‘shielding’ letter due to my own health circumstances...what unfolded for me was an entirely bizarre experience of loneliness I had not anticipated throughout 2020. Following that March Panel meeting, a ‘lightbulb’ moment occurred for me; the result of which led me to propose to Sovereign a new community group, underpinned by the main principle of ‘inclusion’. Safe Space aims to be exactly what it’s coined; a space that is safe for all. This includes those with physical and mental health disabilities, those with young children, those caring for relatives or friends, those of LGBTQ+, those of BAME, those of any background of any age. Commencing in September for Sovereign residents and their neighbours in fully accessible community centre’s, Safe Space will provide fun activities such as arts & crafts, board games & cards, adapted ‘Taskmaster’ challenges, cooking & baking, and anything the community would like to do together. We have an ‘open door’ policy as a ‘drop-in’; please feel welcome to join for as little or as long as the session running, even just for a cuppa and a chat. If you would like more information, you can reach us at [email protected] We look forward to seeing you. Jess. GET IN TOUCH WITH JESS Group details Bristol Group Easton Community Centre POSTPONED: Tuesday 7th September, 2.30-4.30pm Unfortunately this session has been postponed due to illness. Keep an eye out on social media and send a message to [email protected] to be the first one to find out about the updated date and time. South Glos Group Coniston Community Centre Thursday 16th September, 1-5pm FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SOVEREIGN YOUTH PANEL How can we help?