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


June is Pride Month and this year we've seen again so many companies coming out with rainbows on social media in support of LGBTQ+ people. And again it has caused a lot of crisism from people pointing out how these companies support Pride online, but when it comes to treating their employees equally, they fall short.

That's why we feel we need to go back to basics - what celebrating Pride means to us, how important it is to young people and how we need to go beyond the rainbow and ensure support is in place.  

74% of LGBTQ+ Young people have experienced name-calling at school.

These experiences, together with many other factors, massively affect young people's confidence and self-worth. 

In South Gloucestershire, we offer targeted LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Support. Here young people bring up negative comments they've heard that have worsened their negative self-talk. During these sensitive moments, we talk about how to self-sooth. We often reflect on the question: 

What would you say to your best friend or someone you cared for after they experienced verbal abuse? 

The initial experience of directing compassionate statements and positive affirmations towards the self (in the way we would give to a friend) can feel unfamiliar and a bit strange at first. But with practice, noticing negative self-talk, challenging it, and formulating more supportive alternatives has been an important piece of LGBTQ+ affirmative wellbeing work.

Parents are often the ones who see the benefits and have been struggling to get support for their children. 

This is the first time my son has received support that has been so consistent which has been really important because of his Autism and being stuck at home for so long. And you know what… my son listens to you. After you agreed to try out something that would help him feel closer to others in the last session he went out to meet friends for the first time since the start of Covid-19 and he noticed the difference in how he felt about himself.

- Rebecca, Mother of a young person (he/him) attending 121 sessions with an LGBTQ+ practitioner

The support has been such a help and made such a positive impact on our lives. We have been getting better at noticing the negative thinking traps that we both fall into.

- Kelly - Mother of a young girl (she/her) attending 121 sessions

Feelings about Pride and Pride Month

Hearing this comment from a fellow activist in the Alphabets LGBTQ+ Café in South Glos called to mind the importance of opportunities beyond Pride month to celebrate parts of ourselves we don't usually share in a safe public space. Here, the task of youth work is to develop spaces where people can express themselves openly at the roots matched with opportunities for queer expression in whatever form that takes.

What this young person touches on is the development of an LGBTQ+ affirmative attitude all year round rather than just for one month. This positive attitude is one which members of our community could do with remembering on our lowest days, as well for our allies and supporters when we are unsure how to interact and respond to LGBTQ+ people communicating their concerns.

How do you ensure your service is inclusive of LGBTQ+ young people and addresses their needs all year round, not only for Pride month? Is the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ young people being prioritised and how can we all do better, so young people have fewer negative experiences?

How can we help?