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The Agency was originally developed by the Brazilian theatremaker and journalist Marcus Faustini in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

What is The Agency?

The Agency is a youth enterprise project that works with young people from underserved areas to create social enterprises, events, projects and businesses that will have a positive impact on their local communities. It uses a creative methodology developed in the Favelas of Rio De Janeiro.

Your project idea can be about anything, from boxing workshops to music festivals, as long as it inspires positive change in your community.

    ‘It’s had a massive impact on my life, it’s inspired and empowered me.’ 

    Samuel, The Agency

    How do we usually recruit?

    The usual recruitment process involves being invited to pitch your idea to a panel of experts and, if successful, be given £2000 to turn your passion into a project, business or social enterprise. You’ll also be given professional support and guidance to help you succeed.

    How did it start?

    The Agency was originally developed by the Brazilian theatremaker and journalist Marcus Faustini in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where the project has become a major force for change – Agencia de Redes para Juventude.

    The Agency began in the UK in the Moston and Harpurhey areas of North Manchester, and the Clapham Junction and Battersea areas of London (in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and People’s Palace Projects). In 2017, The Agency was awarded £883,771 by the Big Lottery Fund to grow the project nationally to communities in Belfast and Cardiff in collaboration with FabLab Belfast and The National Theatre of Wales. The Agency has now expanded to Hampshire (with Energise Me) and Glasgow (with National Theatre Scotland).

    Houses of Parliament

    In 2019, Agency participants from Manchester and London presented to politicians and policy-makers at the Houses of Parliament, speaking about their projects and the impact of the programme on their communities. The project was also the focus of a major Guardian article: Knives, gangs and kids: how to break the cycle.

    Find The Agency on Social Media:

    Head to their website here to find out more.

    You can keep up to date with The Agency by following the @agency_change accounts on Twitter and Instagram and liking the page on Facebook.

    We recently published a detailed report on the delivery of The Agency. You can view it here.

    You can also watch a selection of films created for The Agency on YouTube

    The Agency is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. The UK pilot was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

    • Ages
      Aged 15-25 and based in Moston or Harpurhey
    • Contact

      Olivia Lee, Agency Project Coordinator


    • Details

      Annually between September – April

    • THE AGENCY 2019/20

      EMBRACING ME - Dasha Foster

      Embracing Me is a creative project tailored to new Year 7's struggling with the challenges of fitting in. Embracing Me delivers body image workshops in high schools in the Moston and Harpurhey area.

      The project will inspire young people to create artwork which celebrates and reflects their individuality.

      The project will finish with an exhibition of the art work produced.


    • THE AGENCY 2019/20

      DAWN TO THE LIGHT - Demereece Green, Ahtasham Akhtar, Aaliyah Nesbeth

      Dawn To The Light is a video game which spreads awareness about mental health and acts as an interactive form of therapy with in-game coping methods.

      Our mission is to aid in the reduction of young people suffering with poor mental health and increase the confidence of young people in speaking about mental health.


    • THE AGENCY 2019/20

      We:Integrate - Saphia Gahimbare

      We: Integrate helps to rehabilitate ex-offenders back into society by giving them a voice through the creative mediums of music, poetry and short stories.

      The mission is to try and unite young ex-offenders together by being in a space where they can explore their creative selves and lived experiences.


    • The Agency 2018/19


      SOMETHING TO SAY - creating a book written by black people age 13-21 from the local community to share positive and inspirational stories.

      CLAY HELP - delivering clay workshops for young people aged 8-18 based in Moston experiencing mental health issues.

      EMPOWHERR - liberating females to participate in sport and competition.


    • The Agency 2017/18

      DYNAMIC BEGINNINGS: Singing workshops with showcase culminations looking at changing the perceptions of young people from Moston and Harpurhey.

      GCSE CLOUD: A GCSE revision app for young people to support them through their exams offering bespoke learning structures.

      EmPOWherr: A female focused sports project looking to empower young woman in to taking up a career in sports.

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2016/17

      AFROBASE Afro-Carribbean festival

      OPEN MINDS BUT SILENT SOUNDS' supporting young people's mental health

      CONSOLE CODE coding programme

      REEL IT IN community fishing project

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2015/16


      3 POINTS basketball project

      BOUNDLESS BOOKS a book-share and writing programme for young people in care

      AMPLIFY a new music platform.

      Find out more

    Credits & Partners

    • Big Lottery Fund
    • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
    • Battersea Arts Centre
    • People's Palace Projects