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Totem was born in 2015 and was developed by the Connecting Youth Culture (CYC) team as a business with a social purpose, with all proceeds from Totem feeding back into the youth arts project, with its primary purpose to use the arts as a tool to work with vulnerable young people across North Yorkshire.

The business might have developed somewhat but our ethos has stayed the same. At Totem we continue and strive to support our undeniable passion for Youth Work and the Environment. As we build a tipi with one hand we plant a tree with another. For every tipi hired we pledge to plant a tree in the National forest.


Check out our tipi's for trees intiative.

We continue to work hard to run a business that is focused on supporting local people and local issues. Have a read and get to know us all, just that little bit better.

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Chris is the one you'll get to meet on site, leading our team on the ground to help create your magical day just as you'd like it. Prior to the tipi world Chris worked with young people and studied youth work for pretty much all his life...he's worked at home and abroad, spending months developing a Youth Work Charity in India and spending 3 years working for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Chris joined CYC in 2016 and played a key role in developing youth arts in North Yorkshire and helped to found Totem as a business. Whilst continuing to develop his youth work passion and being a parent to 3 young children, Chris heads up everything marketing, tipi building and logistics...basically sitting on social media all day or pointing to where tipis should go...sometimes both at the same time! 


Charlie will be the first voice you hear or email contact you'll have we us. She is the smiley and friendly face of Totem. Helping all of our couples and clients start their tipi journey. Charlie worked running festivals and events for the majority of her career. Developing the once renowned CULTURESHOCK Festival in North Yorkshire, which attracted thousands of young people year on year. Charlie now manages the day to day operations at Totem, working with couples to create bespoke weddings and events. Charlie has 3 young children which makes for a crazy but exciting work life balance!



John is our silent partner, who generally holds things together with his calming and relaxed manner, when Chris and Charlie get all 'artistic' or throw a paddy. John's background is in the arts, he started his career working in the TV industry in London before moving North to start working with disadvantaged young people using the arts to improve their lives.  John for many years was manager at Connecting Youth Culture overseeing thousands of workshops for young people which used a variety of different arts forms. John is married and has two children who are in their twenties. John and his wife Annette are also foster carers and have been fostering children for many years.


Check out our Tipi's for Trees initiative 

Thank you

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