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 Thomas Meadley I’m Thomas Meadley and I’m 24. I first took part in Creative Youth Network’s Creative Careers programme. I’d been out of hospital isolation for a few weeks following on from having Leukaemia. Before getting involved with Creative Youth Network I’d been doing nothing, and then I received an email from Teenage Cancer Trust about the Music Film making course for young people. It was an environment I felt really comfortable with and it gave me structure. Following that I went onto Creative Futures. I started writing songs at 16 and had been writing poetry since I was 11 but I never thought that I would have a career in it – no one had ever told me it could be a career. Getting involved with Creative Youth Network gave me something to do, making me feel comfortable. Before this I felt like giving up on the arts and a career in them, thinking it was unachievable. If I hadn’t done Creative Careers and Creative Futures I wouldn’t have the career I now have. CYN showed me that it was possible. I was provided with development opportunities and they gave me support with a community, a platform to share my work, & space to grow and believe in myself. In the last year, I’ve started doing inspiration speaking, I’m writing songs and continuing on with my performance piece that Creative Youth Network helped me make, ‘Dear Lady Death’, which after Creative Futures I took to a couple of conferences about cancer. I’ve worked with Wise Children and am currently working at Trinity Arts Centre on a podcast programme. ‘Dear Lady Death’, has been a significant part of my career to date, as it’s the largest piece of work I’ve done combining all aspects of my practice. I was never given the space or longevity I was provided to make it before. The project was the only time I’d made work out of isolation or on my own. I’m still friends with everyone from the project and continuing to collaborate with them. Creative Youth Network gave me long term support at a variety of levels and stages working through the programmes as an emerging artist and being given help at all points of my progression. It’s been nice being part of an organisation. “The arts have brought me back to life and connected me with people, giving me a role in society and as a person. Having had cancer and mental health issues, being able to create through the arts was vital to keeping me going. It allowed me to make sense of suffering, transforming it into something that can be shared into a positive.” Email: [email protected] Facebook YouTube If you'd like to support young artists such as Tom, donate now: Please select a donation amount (required) £12 Could give a young carer an evening of fun activities, taking a break from their caring responsibilities £25 Could provide an hour’s specialist support for a young person struggling with their mental health £35 Could cover the cost of food for five sessions for young asylum seekers and refugees Other Set up a regular payment Donate How can we help?