Our board of trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic development of Creative Youth Network.

All of our trustees are experts in their fields, with a passion for working with and for young people. They each volunteer their time to us, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to give young people from all backgrounds the opportunities they need to reach their potential.

The Board aims to include all of the skills required to oversee the organisation, including financial and building management, youth services, arts, safeguarding, HR, Legal, PR and Fundraising. We are also extremely proud of having two young Trustees on the Board. The Board is currently 14 strong, meeting quarterly.

The Team

Robert Nye (Treasurer) is a wealth adviser for high net worth families across the South West, with a particular focus on entrepreneurial clients. He is a CFA charterholder, a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and holds an honours degree in Economics from Nottingham University. Robert is an active member of the Bristol Junior Chamber of Commerce. 


Jo Grant has years of experience working with young people in Bristol and the West of England. She has managed the Connexions service in Bristol, and advises Local Authorities on policies relating to the most vulnerable young people. She is Director and owner of Jo Grant Consulting Ltd supporting Charities and Local Authorities in developing their work with young people.


Andrew Smith is a qualified Safety Professional with significant experience in managing safety and improving culture in large organisations and an ability to prioritise and address risk in a proportionate and rational way. Having worked as Head for Safety for First Group, Head of QSSE (Quality, Safety, Security, and Environment) at Atkins and is currently Head of Health & Safety at North Bristol NHS Trust where he enjoying the challenge of tackling the diverse health and safety issues that arise in the Trust.


Raj Kakar-Clayton is Managing Director of Which? Trusted Traders, offering valuable experience in the commercial sector.


Kirsty Swan is founder of Swan Craig Solicitors, with many years’ experience providing both legal and commercial advice on all areas of employment law and commercial law. Her employment law specialism includes unfair/wrongful dismissal and all areas of discrimination, advising and drafting settlement agreements, as well as daily issues covering maternity/ adoption leave, TUPE, performance, disciplinary/grievances, redundancy and capability. Kirsty’s commercial law specialism, includes data protection (GDPR), breach of contract, shareholders agreements and directors recruitment and termination, partnerships and debt recovery.


Maria Imran is a student taking her A-levels, a volunteer with Creative Youth Network, and fundraiser for Islamic Relief.


Lucio Mesquita is a consultant for Innovation Media Consulting Group, a leading global news media consultancy. He has a wealth of media experience including as BBC’s Head of Regional and Local Programmes for the West, including local radio, regional television and digital content for the Bristol area, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset, and working as Director of BBC Monitoring.


Kate Ward has over a decade's senior management experience in the European festivals sector. As General Manager of LIFT from 2009 – 2016 and Executive Director of In Between Time from 2016 -2019 she has been responsible for business planning, operations & HR, fundraising and financial management, and communications. She is currently working as a Freelance Creative Producer and Consultant to organisations in the culture sector; clients include Architecture Centre, British Council, Luke Jerram Studios and Women Leaders South West, a new Transforming Leadership Programme with Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations and Women of the World Festival (WOW).


James Foreman is a chartered Civil/Structural Engineer and qualified Project Manager, currently working as a Principal Engineer for Atkins. He has significant experience managing the design development of major capital projects. James has also previously held voluntary roles with the charity Engineers Without Borders UK.


Kayleigh Wainwright has 20 years experience in the youth sector starting her journey as a member of her local youth club and in her current role as Director of Collective Action at UK Youth is responsible for leading and mobilising a cross-sector movement of youth workers, young people and cross sector leaders people to actively work together in accelerating positive outcomes for young people. She is a qualified youth worker with a passion for developing projects that bring communities together and supporting young people to have their voices heard.  


Akillah Walton is a national customer involvement manager for Places for Peoples supported housing services.

One of my focus areas is to use the customers voice to shape and influence our service through feedback ensuring we remain compliant within the tenant involvement and empowerment standards. I have experience in working with vulnerable people experiencing homelessness and mental health, supporting them to access employment, education and training. I have also been a young person’s mentor for Bristol Drugs Project


Kyra Neubauer is a Consultant Geriatrician working predominantly with frail older people but has experience of working with people of all ages. She has had training and significant experience in safeguarding within the NHS .She has been an educator for decades and worked with young people to support them in getting into medicine and then during their medical careers. She has a real interest in improving diversity in the NHS and in ensuring that young people have access to equal opportunities  to pursue their career choices. 


Mo Rashid: Ageing cricketer, semi-retired with business interests in:

  • The Hospitality sector
  • Property Management and Development
  • IT - Software development and IT consultancy.

Mo has over 25 years of experience in delivering Solutions and services to the Telecom industry worldwide. He has done a lot of work with The Princes Trust acting as Business mentor helping young people who are looking to either start their own business or looking to take the next step back into employment. He also sits on the Board of BSWN and AgeUK Bristol. 


Robert Durie  OBE FRICS

Bob is a Chartered Surveyor in private practice advising land and property owners on real estate issues.

He was made OBE in 2012 for services to the Community in Bristol and has been amongst many appointments President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and High Sheriff of the City and County of Bristol.

He has supported as both trustee and advisor many local and national organisations over many years and has particular interest in the work to support both young and older people.

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