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] 



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