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. 

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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


Millie and Izzie have been part of our productions since 2018. They've learnt by doing, on live shows and on our You Produce course, leading to paid positions in our productions. They started their own theatre company and launched their first show together at the Brighton fringe and won the Pebble Trust Award for it. 

We’re Millie Downie-Wood & Izzie Clench, and we make up part of Penultimate Theatre Company 

We first got involved with Creative Youth Network through You Produce and then their production of The Edge. 

Izzie: I first worked on YOU Produce because ticked all of the boxes for me in regards to what I wanted to go into as a career, events and theatre, getting payment as an Assistant Producer on The Edge, mentoring. The barrier I was facing was that I wanted professional input. There wasn’t many opportunities between Uni and having a career, so it was a stepping stone opportunity.  

Millie: I got involved because of Izzie. I was working a 9 – 5 hospitality job. Izzie had told me about the YOU produce course and what else was happening. Izzie signposted me to Directing the Edge in 2018. It was a massive booster of moral. It was the first year after graduating and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I didn’t want to do Uni based projects or had the capacity to work with getting another company off of the ground. It gave me an opportunity to work and learn from others with an organisation. It boosted my confidence. Developing a relationship with Creative Youth Network gave me the confidence I needed to direct and lead others, to gain a sense of professionalism that I couldn’t quite gain on my own. 

Izzie: by having a paid role as a Producer on The Edge, I was given big tasks to do. This boosted my confidence whilst being thrown into the deep end to learn about working in a creative organisation. Working with peers and other emerging professionals really helped. Creative Youth Network gave us all access to the industry. 

Millie: Since The Edge in 2018, we’ve continued working and Penultimate was born. Izzie joined the company and started to give back opportunities to others to help them develop their careers through our work. You have to share, and I think CYN does that so well. The more you share the more comes back. I knew that we would be able to come back and get support from CYN to help make work in the future. Having that access to people and professionals really helped. Being able to approach people and propose work without any barriers of access. This really, really changed the way Penultimate viewed ourselves, to make work, and work in new ways. The ongoing support we have and ongoing relationship and a rapport. I have more support from CYN than from my degree and I still work for the University! 

With Penultimate we have embarked on 2 large projects – first show ‘forgotten dialogue Brighton fringe and won the award. And, we produced Place 1 an emerging artists exhibitionsupporting 43 artists and groups, with even more support for young technicians helping on the event - this was hands down the highlight of our work so far. I’m really proud of ourselves and how we managed to make things happen at the stage we were at. We used skills some of us didn’t even know we had. It was a huge event which was really cool. We met so many people through it and made an income.   

We also have done a run of shows at Brighton Fringe in 2019. From there we went onto making ‘Female’ a collaborative piece, including Creative Youth Network Alumni. We took this to the Ideas Lab in Plymouth, having been successful with our application to the programme. We were due to do the Fuse Festival in Swindon until Covid-19. This was going to be our first paid gig with a box office split. We’re now developing funding applications to sustain our work, whilst developing ideas and plans for Place 2. Throughout our work is the ethos of collaboration and supporting others, something we learnt from Creative Youth Network 

Millie: For me, it was the accessibility of Creative Youth Network that has helped me the most. It’s allowed me to have conversations with professionals who have made a difference to Bristol. I’ve been able to have conversations with them that I wouldn’t have thought I could have for years or years. From that I felt my position and my work was valid and worth being listened to. Creative Youth Network gave me that confidence. I feel like I can do these things because I know Creative Youth Network is there. It makes me realise that people are still thinking about us and we’re known to you. It’s very comforting.  

Izzie: I was exposed to all of the different creative careers from being involved in Creative Youth Network. By being involved it made me realise what jobs existed in the creative industries and that I could have a serious job in a creative environment, and to know that you can make a living off of it.  


Email: [email protected]




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