Charity Awards 2024

Creative Youth Network

Helping disadvantaged young people in Bristol access the arts

Creative Youth Network (CYN), a Bristol-based charity, recognised that the arts can help with self-confidence and skills development, but that success in these fields is often limited to the white middle classes. Disadvantaged young people, homeless and those struggling with mental health issue or emotional problems were among those not benefitting from the economic growth brought about by the vibrant creative sector in the city.

Creative Youth NetworkCYN set about planning, fundraising, piloting and delivering a range of services to build relationships with young people through the arts, helping them to overcome the barriers they face and reach their potential. The programmes include: creative courses for young people living in areas of poverty or disadvantage led by professional artists; an alternative education programme for young people struggling at school; a programme for long-term NEETs with an interest in the creative industries; a mentoring and business support programme for emerging young artists from NEET, BME and low income backgrounds, and bi-annual productions and a range of events, gigs, performances and exhibitions of young people’s work.

The programme supports 4,500 disengaged young people each year through its innovative and life-changing arts programmes, works with a range of partners including schools, creative organisations, employers and venues to ensure young people get a broad range of experiences, opportunities and progression routes. The charity focuses on hearing unheard voices, and its creative processes and budgets are driven by the young people it serves.

The charity reports a wide range of successful outcomes for its beneficiaries. Two thirds of those who were NEET are now in work, and most report increased self-confidence and new skills.

CC reg no: 266318

Arts, culture and heritage category sponsor: