NEWS: Why this UWE academic became a Director of Freestyle Bristol


Dr Ellen Hughes is a lecturer at UWE Bristol Business School. She has conducted extensive research into careers paths and the creative industries in Bristol. Recently, she has researched post-covid strategies to improve health and well being, and life prospects for young people.

I’m hugely proud to be a Director of Freestyle Bristol, a new organisation set up to support young people in Bristol. We bring young people from across the city together, and help them access new skills, new experiences, and the information they so need on future career and education opportunities.

We have a website developed and curated by young people, which can be read and contributed to by all young people across our city. As well as this, we will be holding youth clubs and events to bring young people together, to hang out and make some features for the website – think Why Don’t You meets Press Gang. 

As an academic, I spent 4 years researching career paths of people in Bristol, which really hammered home the problems of youth unemployment and inequalities in our city. These issues are significantly worse in Bristol than average in the UK, and our young people need every bit of help and support we can give them. It is great to be doing something active and positive to tackle these issues

Having a place to go and be with others on a regular basis, trying out new things, being valued, sharing experiences and interests, and receiving good advice  – all these have huge benefits to young people’s mental health and life prospects. This is what we offer.

I have loved the energy and drive that has bought Freestyle Bristol to life. It’s been brilliant to see what our team have done so far, and it really is just the beginning. It has generated a sense of belonging and inclusivity that gives us all hope for the future.

If you’re feeling flush, stick a few quid in the donate box – we are raising money to take some of our volunteers on in paid positions, and provide them with training so they can help us build and grow into a sustainable organisation. Be a Freestyle Bristol supporter – our young people need you.

We Are Freestyle Bristol