Creative Youth Network Impact Report 2018

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Lives in a day of Creative Youth Network 2018

During the year our work supported 5,314 young people, a huge 24 per cent more than in 2017.

Young people are our future so undermining their ability to reach their potential makes no sense. Despite the cuts Creative Youth Network aims Whilst we are delighted to be able to to give young people the opportunireach and engage with more young ties they deserve. people, it’s also a concern that this growing need exists. Our vision is a world where young people, regardless of background or A recent review of youth work1 high- ability, should have the opportunity lights that in recent years £0.5 billion to reach their potential. has been lost from services for young people, a 62 per cent cut since 2011. In 2018 our response to these challenges was to work with more It reports the breakdown of the ‘so- partners, funders and commissioners cial contract’ with young people that to make sure we protected and grew has assumed that those growing up the opportunities available to young today would continue to enjoy better people by: quality of life and more opportunities than their parents and grandparents. • offering a range of services The report shows that, because of • working in partnership with comfundamental shifts in our economy, munity, cultural and specialist housing and education combined youth organisations with large cuts in public spending, • owning and maintaining safe many young people today have a spaces and places hosting a more difficult start than recent range of related services, inforgenerations. mation and advice for young people. As you read through the following pages you’ll gain some insight into a typical day at Creative Youth Network. Through the voices of young people and some of our staff, you’ll see why spaces and places that make you smile are crucial to enabling young people to succeed.


All Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs (2019) Youth Work Inquiry Final Report

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Opening our doors to the most vulnerable young people


Our day begins at 9:00am at the Station, our youth hub in the heart of Bristol, with Abi, one of our front of house team:

Every morning we run through the duty log from last night. Each entry is a snapshot of a young person, often very vulnerable, who sought our help, sometimes in desperate circumstances. They might have had nowhere to sleep, they may have been taking drugs or have experienced violence, they may have absconded from their foster carer, or been caught up in anti-social behaviour. As part of the team that is often the first to meet young people, we work hard to support each individual to

access the services and help they need either in-house or across the city. We’ll signpost and liaise with local homeless provisions, will ring a foster carer or parent, or work closely with our on-call colleague to coordinate with care services or the police. And every morning after the night before, we’ll review the log of actions to make sure there are no loose ends and that follow-ups are complete, so that we can put faces to names and know who to look out for during the coming day.

Apart from being a place that young people can turn to, we run small group and one-to-one sessions out of the Station, and host a number of organisations such as Brook Sexual Health. Bringing together a range of services that support and empower young people ensures that the Station is a one stop shop meeting a range of needs.

388 4

Impact report 2018

Young people in crisis responded to 5

Building the relationships that young people rely on

Many of the young people we work with are experiencing complex challenges. These include behavioural issues, poor mental health, difficulties at home or at school, loneliness or isolation, or being at risk of exploitation or becoming involved in crime. Whatever the challenge our staff are the highly trained rocks upon which young people can rely, and during the morning our youth workers will be supporting young people during one-to-one appointments in all corners of the city.


I stopped going to school and felt really lonely. My youth worker came to my home, and we talked about how I felt and together developed an action plan.

I didn’t know what to do, so they suggested that helping me to get back some confidence would be a good place to start, and they gave me details of a youth club near where I live in North Bristol I could go to in the evening. The first few times I went with my

brother and a friend. I was really welcomed by the people working there, and at the end I spent some time talking to one of them about how I thought I’d have a really diffcult time but didn’t. After a few more sessions I began to realise that the people I met at club weren’t so different from people at school, so I started going back to school part-time, and now I’m finding being at school easier so hope to be able to catch-up on what I’ve missed.

Positive relationships are at the heart of improving social and emotional outcomes for all young people, but there are no quick fixes. We offer each young person ongoing support through a range of one-to-one support, small group work, training and courses, measuring each young person’s progress against seven outcomes recognised by experts as being crucial to development. vulnerable or marginalised young people were supported on a one-to-one basis.

17% 6

of one-to-one referrals were for mental health issues


of young people attending one-toone sessions had become isolated of one-to-one referrals were young people not in education, employment or training

Impact report 2018


Change through creativity “

Creativity is a central strand of our work. It’s a perfect way of engaging young people since creativity and the arts teaches and enhances life skills, including problem solving, communication, risk-taking, critical thinking and public speaking.


I’d been in care since I was 10 and moved back to live with my parents when I was 17. Having moved care homes often, I’d really struggled at school, and had no qualifications.

It’s hard to explain, but the people leading the course knew how to talk to me and support me whilst also teaching me how to design and make things.

I liked the idea of the fashion course that some youth workers suggested at youth club, so I went along. It was sometimes difficult because my writing’s not good, and I didn’t always feel confident that I could do the work, but over the 10 weeks I made something for my mum.

It kind of feels like the course helped me think about my parents and being in care and to be more okay with it and to learn something that I turned out to be quite good at. I made some good friends and got my Arts Award, so I know I can go on and do more things now.

We offer a range of creative courses, as well as school and youth club based opportunities across Bristol and South Glos. Led by practising artists and creative youth workers, young people can explore their ability and skills in a range of creative areas. With art and culture increasingly absent from the curriculum, this may be the first time young people have engaged their creativity, been part of a production or show, or experienced others performing.


Impact Report 2018


young people engaged in our creative programmes 2.5 times the previous year


come from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds

33% 30%

had targeted needs including being care leavers

of attendees achieved a GCSE equivalent Arts Award


Inspiring and nurturing talented young people Some of the young people we work with are extremely talented, with a lot to offer to the UK’s burgeoning, but often difficult to access, creative industries. In the early afternoon across our spaces you will often come across rehearsals for our public shows, performances and showcases as young people prepare to engage and inspire audiences through their talent.


I started my dance career when I was little. For me it was all about socialising and connecting with people without the need for speaking.

Still today, my main barrier is that noone in dance looks like me - there’s no contemporary dancer with a turban, that I know of...anywhere. I feel responsibility for showing other kids from my background that it is possible to go forward and do something creative.

looking for someone to choreograph young performers for a Creative Youth Network production and became involved in the charity’s alumni scheme that supports young emerging artists like me. I can use their facilities including dance and recording studios to create work for 50p an hour – I’ve found it incredibly valuable as I build my reputation and portfolio of work which is a real challenge without the right support and networks.

After graduating from dance school I came across Nick [Creative Director]

At the pinnacle of our creative work are those exceptional young people that bring diversity of culture, a lived experience and unique stories to the arts. Diversity and innovation go hand in hand and make for a more successful and resilient creative sector. Accessibility to arts and culture remains a challenge, one that we are committed to playing a part in solving.

17,339 85 10

live and digital audiences experienced young people’s productions and showcases

young people performed in and produced our winter production, the Edge



exhibitions for emerging young artists were hosted in our spaces

of our young alumni presented work nationally and internationally

Impact Report 2018


2018 IN A NUTSHELL Education & Skills of the 75 young people in our complementary education programme stayed in school, and 9 out of 10 achieved measurable outcomes

creative courses run, with 30% of attendees achieving a GCSE equivalent Arts Award of marginalised NEET young people funded through Building Better Opportunities went into work, training, volunteering or education

Creativity & Talent



people came to watch our show, The Edge, including 30 per cent under the age of 25, the demographic least likely to engage in culture


of our young artists were commissioned to tour their work

emerging artists were supported with studio space, mentoring and business advice

Wellbeing & Life Skills

3 32% reported improved 26% communication skills

newly trained wellbeing practitioners piloting new ways of supporting young people’s wellbeing

of young people attending youth club sessions reported improved positive social relationships

Future & Sustainability pledged to reimagine and redevelop The Courts as a creative enterprise hub adding to our spaces and places for young people



major youth services contracts secured

specialist sub-contractors commissioned with expertise in engaging diverse communities

Keeping young people in school and out of trouble Concerns about school exclusions, and practices such as off-rolling, are rising following a recent independent review that found that eight out of 10 children who are permanently excluded come from vulnerable backgrounds.


As exclusions from school rise, so does knife crime in young people there is a correlation. This is a complex area, and rising child poverty, mental ill health and increased special needs of many young people are also on the increase and could be driving both trends.

During 2018 we piloted an approach using creativity to transform lives, to keep young people at risk of exclusion in school. Working with schools across Bristol we were so successful that we are extending to more schools to begin working to a city level. I was being bullied and struggling with my behaviour. One day I wasn’t feeling good at all, so I burst.

Ever since I’ve been on the programme, things have changed. When I’m doing art, I’m getting my anger out.

People are asking me what I think and I really enjoy that. We’ve been doing poetry and I wrote a poem about language I don’t like, that makes me angry. I read it in front of the class and everyone liked it. I felt chuffed with myself!

By increasing school attendence and motivation for learning, we are developing and evidencing an effective approach to reducing the number of exclusions from mainstream education. And by engaging young people through creativity, we are also increasing access for young people to arts subjects which, evidence shows without any ambiguity, teaches and enhances skills critical to almost any profession or life-path.


young people at risk of exclusion were engaged in our complementary education pilot

90% 14

Impact report 2018

9 in 10 of those engaged remained in school

achieved measurable outcomes including building positive social relationships, avoiding anti-social behaviour and crime, and developing new skills and knowledge.


Getting young people back into education, employment or training


Wherever we can we collaborate with other organisations to ensure that together we don’t let vulnerable young people down. In a partnership led by Weston College we supported 166 young people with multiple barriers not in education, employment or training (NEET) across the West of England*. We worked with a further 45 NEET young people through our creative courses, and every week in the afternoon we host small groups of young people at the Station getting support and advice on finding the right job, course or training. I was 18 and had just finished my YOT [youth offending team] order. I’d been in care and in lots of schools, but had no qualifications. My reading and writing weren’t good, so job applications were impossible for me.

I needed my CSCS card to work on construction sites, either labouring or on an apprenticeship. They paid for me to take a week’s course to help me pass my CSCS test. Once I had that they helped me apply for

construction and labouring jobs, showing me what to say on applications. They helped me with practice calls for when employers might call me, and interview practice as well. Eventually I got work building new student accommodation. They helped me get my boots and hi-vis jacket and fill out my new starter forms. I’m still working now after several months, something I never thought was possible just a year ago.

We make it easier for young people to negotiate their way through the system, and to understand what employers or trainers are looking for, and to match their skills and experience to what’s needed.


young people we engaged in *West of England Works

66 16

lacked basic skills like English or Maths qualification

1 in 5 15

gained employment

were homeless or affected by housing exclusion

went into education or training




Impact report 2018


Working within diverse communities We want our work to be seamless, with young people pursuing their journey secure in the knowledge that they’ll be safe and supported every step of the way. Drawing on the different skills of our many partners, including community leaders, we’re able to synthesise our expertise, responding to community and individual needs, giving the very best experience.


Together we are more than the sum of our parts, and more able to meet the diversity of young people’s needs as a result. Late afternoon will find Creative Youth Network colleagues leading sessions in communities across Bristol and South Glos. As a mother I really wanted to give girls a safe and fun place to learn to cook and meet their friends. So I approached Creative Youth Network and asked if they’d set up and run the group in the heart of my commu nity in East Bristol. They’ve been brilliant in working with us, supporting and engaging but never imposing. The whole thing has grown, and we’re doing so much more now.

We’re putting on trips and organising creative opportunities, working with poets and regional theatre companies. It feels like the different experiences of our girls is being brought alive and celebrated as part of the cultural richness of the city.

We also work in partnership through our buildings by offering spaces to organisations, many of them small charities, working not just with young people but with the wider community. Our estates team enable a range of organisations to deliver services and host events, each vital in their own way to their target community or audience.


LGBT+ groups ran every week in 2018

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Impact report 2018

young people with disabilities engaged


young refugees and asylum seekers attended our weekly session in central Bristol


attended our Somali young women’s group


Keeping young people off the streets and out of harm’s way


The evenings are big and busy, the traditional time for young people to get out and about and be with friends. The community youth club is becoming a rarity, with several hundred having disappeared across the country in recent years. We’re bucking this trend. Every night of the working week we run sessions for different ages and interests within different communities. Our places and spaces are open and accessible to all, and we’re fortunate that our funders and commissioners recognise that investment in youth clubs is an investment in our collective futures, and well worth defending. I was 15 when I told a friend a secret. She told everyone at school, and soon it was all over social media. I’d been bullied before, but not in this way – I didn’t want to go anywhere or look at anything online.

The only place I felt safe was youth club, and I really liked an artist working there showing us how to use photography and poetry.

She got me writing about how I felt, and taking photos of the other people at club, thinking about the difference between my real world and my social world. My photos were part of a photography exhibition we put on that lots of people in my community came to and enjoyed. I really liked being able to think about things without having to talk about and explain how I felt.

Each session is a melting pot of young people, a microcosm of society united by their youth, mixing and meeting in a safe place, supported and empowered by highly trained youth workers. It’s a mix, and it leads to great outcomes for those lucky enough to be able to attend regularly.


young people on average attend each session at Hanham Youth Club

31 20


achieved an outcome, including 26% feeling more confident

youth club sessions ran every week, on average, during 2018

Impact report 2018


Youth work – the new emergency service? “

Our income and spending We want to be open and transparent about our costs, we know it’s important to our supporters.

Our central Bristol youth hub is open until 10.00 pm weekday evenings, long after other services are closed. Vulnerable and traumatised young people often arrive late in the evening seeking our help.


One of a known at-risk group of young people that hang-out in a nearby park came in at around 9.30 saying he was homeless. He’d been sofa-surfing, but was facing sleeping rough over the weekend.

He’s 18 and has been in care but had recently come out of a custody re-call following a longer sentence. He has mental health needs, and tonight was also suffering from really bad tooth ache. I spent a couple of hours with him in A&E while liasing with emergency

Our income

social care to locate a bed for the weekend. I went with him to the room we found to ensure he got in because it was well past their deadline. I’ll be leaving detailed notes for colleagues to follow up in the morning to see how we can support him in finding a more permanent solution, and to check he followed up with one of our partners, 1625 Independent People who host a multi-agency team including housing advisors and social workers. – Carl, Youth Work Manager

In 2018 we raised £3,645,862. Contracts and fees


0.4% Other income, donations and bank interest


Our spending In 2018 we spent £3,475,008. Core costs



youth services contracts secured

organisations, often small charities, hosted in our buildings

1.7% Governance



Maintaining buildings



The quality and continuity of the relationships we build, combined with safe places and spaces, are at the heart of enabling young people to achieve their potential. Thank you to all the funders, partners, communities and, above all, young people without whom we would not achieve what we do.




We end our day where we began, with one of our dedicated team working out of one of the places and spaces we own or run across Bristol, South Glos and the wider region.

people employed by Creative Youth Network at the end of 2018

Rental income, tenant recharges and hires



Services for young people

of our income generated from buildings we own as community assets pledged to redevelopment of The Courts, a major new creative hub in Bristol


CONTACT US 0117 947 7948 creativeyouthnet @Creative_Youth

Every year we ask many of you to help our young people. We are always grateful for your support, no matter how big or small. Thank you for helping young people in Bristol, BANES and South Gloucestershire. 1625 Independent People 3rd Space Music Arts Council England Basil Brown Charitable Trust BBC Children in Need Bristol City Council Comic Relief Exeter University Gwyneth Forrester Trust Hanham Abbots Parish Council Hanham Parish Council Heritage Lottery Fund My Place National Lottery Community Fund Quartet Community Foundation: Dan Hickey Fund Quartet Community Foundation: Catalyst Grant Programme Real Ideas Organisation South Gloucestershire Council

Spielman Charitable Trust St James’s Place Charitable Foundation Stoke Gifford Parish Council The Basil Brown Charitable Trust The Big Music Project The Dulverton Trust The Honourable Company of Gloucestershire Charitable Trust The Joyce Fletcher Charitable Trust The Nisbet Trust The Oldham Foundation The Pixiella Trust The West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) Weston College


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