The Agency

Supporting young people to create change in their communities

The Agency is an exciting youth social entrepreneurship programme. It empowers young people to create the change that they want to see in their communities.

We believe that young people know best how to make their communities healthier and happier places to live. Through delivery of a 12-week creative programme, we support them to explore their ideas for social change and then gain the tools they need to put them into action.

We choose to deliver The Agency in areas that will benefit the most. Our vision is to make a real difference to the lives of local young people. The Agency encourages them to devise innovative solutions that energise their communities, create a positive impact and leave a lasting legacy.

At the end of 12 weeks, young people present their project ideas to a panel of community experts. Three projects are chosen to receive grant awards of £2,000 and a further 16 weeks of support to make them happen.


The Projects of 2023

We are currently supporting five young people to deliver three projects in early 2023:

ART of Sport

Led by Mati, 15, and Rayhan, 15

We want to make a positive change in the community with our sports project. ART of Sports will provide early intervention, encouraging boys and young men not to go down a bad path in life, and lead them away from crime. We want young people to enjoy sports as much as we do, and we want to encourage them to spend their time positively, whilst leading active and healthy lifestyles. Ultimately, we want to make Southampton a safer place for everyone.

Enjoy Education

Led by Alisha, 15

My project provides maths and science tuition for pupils from year 9 to 11. It introduces fun ways of learning while still maintaining professionalism to help them learn and unlock their full potential.

I want young people to feel confident and empowered in school and in their learning. I hope by the end of my project they’ve gained a deeper understanding of certain maths and science topics and had a boost to their self-esteem. I hope that they go into exam halls – whether it’s for mocks or real GCSEs – feeling secure and self-assured.

Don’t give up. Work hard and attend all the sessions. And have fun!

Advice for young people joining The Agency:

Sports with Support

Led by Sharnay, 15, and Zarka, 16

We want to provide a safe and judgement free environment for girls to improve on their mental health and body image through sport and fitness.

Our project idea is to give free, fun-filled sport activities in a private and safe area where girls can reflect on themselves and enjoy what they like to do without worries and insecurities about their bodies.

Many girls come across religious and cultural barriers as well as financial issues, which makes it hard for them to enrol in activities. Culture and religion may not allow some girls to play in front of boys, and a girls-only activity centre has not been provided yet!

We are aiming to get girls to be more independent in themselves and to help them improve their mental health. We want girls who don’t have the opportunity to play sport to be able to get outdoors and have fun in a girls-only space.

Be passionate about your idea.

Advice for young people joining The Agency: 

Read about the amazing achievements of our 2021 agents:

For more information about The Agency programme, please contact:

The Agency Origins

The Agency was first developed in the favelas of Brazil by theatre-maker Marcus Faustini. It is innovative because it recognises young people as experts in their communities and uses creative activities to help them turn their ideas into a reality. Its success led Contact Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre to bring it to the UK. The programme has been running in Manchester, London, Cardiff and Belfast since 2013. We launched it in Southampton in May 2021 and are proud to play our part in growing a national community of young ‘agents of change’.


About The Agency

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.

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