Our Impact in 2022

2022 was a year of clear focus and commitment to the quality of our youth work offer. We undertook the rigorous process of applying for the Quality Mark through the National Youth Agency (NYA), England's national body for youth work. We are thrilled to have been awarded Outstanding level...the first and (so far) only organisation in England to receive this highest classification!

Creative Youth Network was commended for achievements against three key industry areas: young people’s personal and social development and learning, quality of practice and leadership and management.

Continue reading for the highlights for 2022 or read the full impact report below ⬇️

View the full Impact Report:

impact report 2022

1. A Message From Our CEO

2. Key Stats 2022

3. The Power of Youth Work

4. The Power of Creativity

5. Place and Space 

6. Youth Voice

7. Partnerships and Communities 

8. Income and Expenditure 


"We’re proud of the positive difference that our staff and volunteers at Creative Youth Network continue to make, for young people and our community. In this report, we set out some of the highlights from a very busy 2022."


We are thrilled to have been awarded Outstanding level...the first and (so far) only organisation in England to receive this highest classification.

The NYA is England's national body for youth work. Creative Youth Network was commended for achievements against three key industry areas: young people’s personal and social development and learning, quality of practice and leadership and management.

The NYA highlighted our progressive approach to widening the participation of young people across the organisation, as well as our proven track record in co-designing programmes that recognise – and act upon – the needs and interests of the region’s many diverse communities. Thank you NYA!


The young people we work with, despite facing barriers and challenges, want to be actively involved in defining their future. Our collective role is to support and enable them in doing this. In 2022 we supported them to do just that, here are some of the stats...

of these young people were from disadvantaged, seldom heard and underrepresented groups. These include those who are: from racialised communities, disabled, suffering mental ill health, in care, LGBTQI+ and other protected characteristics.


A trusted youth worker can be the foundation to helping a young person find a new path. In order to celebrate the role of the youth worker, we commissioned a short film about genuine relationships between young people we engage and their assigned worker. The film was produced by Oona Chanfi, a freelance film maker who developed her practice through our Creative Futures programme in 2021

Creativity - in its widest sense - is embedded throughout our work, spaces and programmes. Each year we see the benefits of using a creative approach with young people, from those who have never before taken part in creative activities to those with talent but no opportunity to develop their passion into a profession. We are uniquely placed to bring together quality youth work with creativity, which our trained staff use as a unique tool to grow self-expression, boost confidence, improve wellbeing, and inspire personal transformation.


We work across 12 youth clubs and centres in Bristol and South Gloucestershire as well as working outside within communities where young people need support. Wherever we work, we create safe, welcoming and creative environments which are open to all young people.

2022 saw us hit a significant milestone, as work finally started on the refurbishment of Bristol’s Old Magistrates Courts. Having lain derelict for many years before Creative Youth Network acquired the building, by 2024 the Courts will have become an innovative Creative Enterprise Hub. It will bring together creative sector organisations with talented but under-represented young people, who just need fair chances to begin their careers in the sector.

Each year, the Courts will offer:

Skills training for 500 emerging young creatives

Qualifications for up to 100 young people Internship opportunities for 30 young people.

Pathways into the cultural and creative sectors for young creatives through project incubators, internships, work experience, exhibitions and producing their own showreels

Audience opportunities for thousands of people


The Station is a welcoming and inclusive place bringing together young people aged 11-25 from across the city and beyond. It is a home for communities of young people to come together in a safe space, whether brought together by interest, need or a desire for change.

The Station also unites youth and creative organisations to create a comprehensive network for the region’s young people. Under the Station’s roof, they provide support, opportunities and pilot new ways of working to address complex personal, emotional and social needs.

A typical week in 2022 saw 60 young people join us for our three regular youth club sessions, including our 'More Than Music' Tuesday night session in partnership with Aspiration Creation Elevation (ACE) and our Welcome Wednesday sessions for Young Refugees and Asylum Seekers. We also facilitate platforms for young people to be heard at The Station. It is also a regular venue for our Youth Voice panel, for the Unity Forum for young people of colour and for WECIL’s Listening Partnership for disabled young people.

"The first day I came to England I was in a very bad condition in terms of my mental and physical health. As the days passed, I felt much worse and I had no hope. I was afraid of people. I was in a very dark place in my mind. I thought that nobody loved and cared about me. Until I found The Station. The Youth Club on Wednesday and Thursday is for young refugees, and Wednesday and Thursday started to turn into the best days of my life. I started to feel better. The Station staff try to support young people in the best possible way, they take the thoughts of young people very seriously in selecting their employees."

Creative Youth Network’s aim is to make sure young people can express themselves and be heard, so that they can influence the decisions that affect them, within our organisation as well as wider society. This year we not only continued to ensure young people's voices were heard, but invested in increasing our impact in this area through a new Participation Strategy and through making a public commitment to the Power of Youth Charter.

We the 33

33% of our region’s population is under the age of 25, but this demographic gets less than their fair share of decision making authority. Regular conferences have “keynote speakers” but our 'We the 33' events have “keynote listeners”. Decision makers from across the region come together not to speak but to listen to young people – to hear what they have to say and to act on that feedback in their professional lives.

In 2022 we held 5 'We the 33%' events, engaging 175 young people and 25 key note listeners.


Creative Youth Network’s partnerships are fundamental to helping us reach young people from all walks of life and create pathways that improve their futures. Across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, our youth centres and programmes thrive because of the variety of partnerships we are part of, both formal and informal.

Across our community buildings, we are proud to host more than 40 different social purpose organisations, who deliver important services for young people and our wider community. We aim to curate positive communities of mutually supportive and mission aligned organisations.

In Bristol 

We continued to lead Bristol's Targeted Youth Service (TYS) partnership who collectively deliver Bristol City Council's commissioned youth services. We work hard to offer a seamless, robust service that prevents young people falling through the gaps. Creative Youth Network has also been an active member of the Bristol Youth Work Alliance. In February 2022 we, and dozens of other members, put our name to a new collectively agreed Memorandum of Understanding that sets out principles and aspirations for future collaborative working across the youth sector.

I used to struggle to get into school and focus due to lack of motivation and feeling anxious from being behind on my education, but now I have a rough idea of things I want to do in college. I have enjoyed swimming and going to the gym with my friends and would like to finish my GCSEs this year. I still struggle sometimes but I feel more confident in engaging in lessons and focusing on work. Young person, East Central Bristol

- Young Person, East Central Bristol


We worked hard to secure funding to establish new projects and partnerships. Our new Nimbus Sounds partnership with Aspiration Creation Elevation, the Trinity Centre and Basement Studios will support more than 2,500 young people, who will have the chance to explore their musical talent and pursue careers in the music industry. The project is supported by Youth Music and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


We remain an active member of the South Gloucestershire Youth Partnership and, thanks to continued support from the National Lottery Communty Fund, have been able to offer significant practical and coordination support to this group. The partnership continues to thrive and we held 12 partnership meetings and 4 skills sharing sessions. Together we delivered:

1363 youth sessions with 7390 young people engaged

72% of the young people we have supported are from disadvantaged, underrepresented, or seldom heard communities.

Our group is lots of fun, the staff are really nice and helpful. It helps with our mental health; we get to talk about stuff. We do great activities like singing and dancing.

-Young Person, South Glos


It’s important to be open and transparent about how we spend money and the ways in which we will use donations. 2022 was a challenging year financially, as we had to deal not only with the ongoing impacts from the pandemic but also with an unforeseen cost of living crisis (which increased both the number of young people needing our support and our organisational running costs - an unfortunate 'double whammy'). Despite the challenging climate, we were determined not to make compromises. We took an informed decision to continue to invest in service quality for young people, in our staff team, and in a range of morally and strategically important programmes including our work on equity, diversity and inclusion and environmental sustainability.

Thank you for taking an interest in what we do at Creative Youth Network. We are grateful to all the young people, organisations and funders who work with us, support our work and share our vision that all young people should have fair chances to reach their potential.

View the full Impact Report:

 Impact report 2022

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