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 We learn from young people too My first shift at Hanham Youth Club was on Thursday 11th June 2015, 650 days ago. Over the course of those 93 weeks, I’ve worked 126 shifts, sold 512 isotonics, 116 laces, and boiled the kettle 38 times. I’ve cleaned up 1.3 kilos of grated cheddar cheese, 9 eggs and countless assorted confectionary. I’ve also learnt a lot from the staff’s considerable wealth of experience, in terms of what to do, and what not to do when it comes to working with young people, which has helped further deepen my understanding of youth work. We build secure relationships based on trust, respect and mutual understanding. The main thing that I’ve taken away is that it’s key to build relationships based on trust and mutual respect, and that this can be challenging, can take time, and it can require patience. It can also be in equal parts as rewarding as it can be frustrating, but our aim is to provide support where other services fall short. As the only member of staff at Hanham not originally from Bristol, and also being in the minority of not having attended Hanham Youth Club as a youngster, this has given me a unique perspective (and accent), and further opportunities to learn. In closing, my time so far at Hanham Youth Club has provided so much more than I could ever expect, and yet I feel like we’re only just beginning to skim the surface.I’ve learnt a lot from the young people. We’ve encountered issues such as body image, self-harm, gender dysphoria, and everything that comes with being a teenager, including name-calling, stone-throwing and window-breaking. We’ve seen relationships emerge and disintegrate, and friendships form and grow. How can we help?