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


It’s been quite a three years. Since 2017, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), we have provided new opportunities for young people across the city, reaching into areas we weren’t delivering in previously.

The Youth Investment Fund (YIF) has enabled us to support the personal development of hundreds of young people aged 11-18 across Bristol, building their skills and confidence that will, over time, enable them to achieve their potential.

The golden thread running throughout our delivery was creativity. An investment in creative youth workers who have used their professional arts skills to inspire young people to explore the world around them through creativity and embedding those workers within our neighbourhood youth work teams.

Why creativity?

The recognition that creative activities in safe settings, combined with supportive relationships with youth workers, enables self-expression. Combining the opportunity to learn new skills such as problem solving, all while creating something to proudly showcase shared learning and achievements, is the perfect recipe to build confidence and resilience.

Bringing creativity into young lives where arts and culture is often inaccessible is hugely important. Short courses in film making or animation, dance or theatre, music or print making, spoken word or textiles help develop skills and interest and unlock talent in young people with different experiences and stories to share.

Over the three years we have:

  • offered 65 creative courses enjoyed by 540 young people 
  • taken creativity into 785 youth club, school or outreach sessions, across 15 different venues
  • reached 2650 young people with new opportunities to creatively explore the issues important to them
  • partnered with Bristol Mshed, Bristol City Museum and Cabot Circus Shopping Centre to share their work in professional settings

We have worked with 4 smaller organisations rooted within their communities, collaborating in reaching a diversity of young people. Our Somali girls group, co-hosted with Barton Hill Settlement, worked with Bristol’s City Poet and Travelling Light Theatre to bring alive, through spoken word, their hopes of growing up in Bristol. Overall we have engaged more than 3,000 young people.

Working in partnership

Over the three years we’ve worked with other regional YIF funded organisations, combining our learning and resources to increase impact. Last November, we brought together young people from all our communities to spend time with funders, commissioners and influencers in Bristol and the wider region, reimagining how youth services respond to emerging needs. Together we’ve broken down silos and built solidarity.

Whilst it’s not possible to capture here the extraordinary blossoming of young people’s creativity and confidence over three years, our final, and biggest, showcase of work by young people on recent Creative Courses demonstrates and celebrates their achievements. It captures what is possible when young people are nurtured to develop skills and resilience through creativity.

We’ve very much valued working in this way and want to do far more to harness the power of creative youth work. Our thanks to all the young people we involved, our partners and collaborators, and particularly the National Lottery Community Fund and DCMS for their innovative funding approach which, the evidence shows, has brought significant benefit to some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged young people in Bristol.

In these challenging times the young people we work with need creativity in their lives more than ever. Will you support us so that we can continue providing creative opportunities for young people?

Donate now 


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