The Agency

We’re enabling young people, aged 15-25 years old, to create social change.

The Agency is a creative entrepreneurship programme. It enables young people aged 15 to 25 to create social change projects. Each one stems from a young person’s passion and the positive change they want to make in their community.

The Agency is where young people turn their passion into reality.

Battersea Arts Centre

The origins of The Agency

The Agency UK is a Battersea Arts Centre and Contact programme devised in partnership with People’s Palace Projects in 2013. It has had a significant impact on the young people taking part. But it has also transformed the organisations and communities that have enabled them to realise their ideas.

The Agency uses an arts-based approach founded by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The model:

  • provides development opportunities for young people
  • gives them agency to affect real change in their own community
  • helps them to launch ambitious projects that will benefit their local area

The Agency made me realise my potential. Before I wanted to make a change, but I didn't know how to go about doing that.

Phillipa, London Agent

The Agency Southampton

Following in the footsteps of other cities across the UK, it is now Southampton’s turn. We are uniting arts, non-arts and community organisations. Our vision is to make a real difference to the lives of young people in the city. This exciting project will engage and empower young people to create social enterprises.

The Agency gave me belief in myself.

Seshie, London Agent

Our partners

We’re working with a wide range of cultural and community organisations. These include the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership and key community and youth organisations.

We are part of a national team led by Contact and Battersea Arts Centre. They oversee delivery of The Agency across a growing number of places in the UK.

The Agency has taken us into areas such as sport, fashion, broadcasting, cookery, and activism, and has changed the lives of many of its participants.

Matt Fenton, Artistic Director, Contact

Watch this space!

COVID-19 scuppered our plans to launch The Agency Southampton in September 2020 but we’re now ready to launch.

If you’re aged 15-25 and living in Golden Grove or Northam in Southampton then please hop over to our joining page to register your interest for The Agency.

The Agency in action

Universal Language helps young people practice their English while doing something they love.

Ur Way raises awareness about mental health and helps young people suffering from mental illness.

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Partners and funders

The Agency UK is a Battersea Arts Centre and Contact programme devised in partnership with People’s Palace Projects.

Current partners include: Kiln Theatre, Blackhorse Workshop, National Theatre Wales and Fablab, Belfast. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Agency is a programme originally conceived by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro where it is delivered by Agência de Redes para a Juventude. The UK pilot (2013-15) was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The Agency funder and partner logos

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