Last Saturday, the fourteen young people who have completed the 12 week Agency programme at the workshop pitched their ideas for social enterprises to benefit their community. Three of the projects were selected by a panel to receive £2000 for development of a pilot, supportted by a specialist producer.
The Agency programme was originally developed by Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Manchester in partnership with People’s Palace Projects, and was selected to be delivered in Waltham Forest as part of the London Borough of Culture 2019, funded by The Mayor of London.
The Agency’s objective is to work with young people aged 15-25 from disadvantaged backgrounds to support them to become the leaders of change in their own communities. The three projects chosen for funding are:
Essence by Faith developed by Faith Agba-Butler (aged 16)
A series of workshops and a natural hair treatment for afro-black hair, aimed at young women with the aim of building confidence, self-love and countering the use of carcinogenic products.
Non-Stop Boxing developed by Tauheed Hussain (aged 15)
A boxing club aimed at diverting young people away from violence and getting involved with knife crime.
Ignite by Dorea Nengese, Tori Allison-Powell and Asiya Kigozi (aged 16, 15, 15)
Responding to the lack of real life skills learnt in school, this trio have developed a 10 week programme of sessions for young people where they can learn everything from budgeting and finance, first aid trauma skills and ways to deal with conflict.
After an incredible 12 weeks we spoke to Tori and Tauheed, two of our amazing agents on the programme as to how they felt things have gone…
What are your thoughts on the Agency programme being in Walthamstow?
Tori: I think it’s good, I think it needs to be advertised more. It has helped me with my communication skills a lot. Going out and talking to the public for our personal survey really helped me get more confident and now I can’t stop talking to people.
Tauheed: It is very close to my house so it’s good for me that I can be involved with something like this in my area.
What changes or developments have you gone through whilst being involved in The Agency programme here?
Tori: I’m now more confident as a person, it’s much easier for me to interact with people. I think I have become more open minded and weirdly enough I have even become smarter. For instance, I usually wouldn’t focus 100% in school but in subjects like sociology I have found myself focusing more because I can apply the theory at Blackhorse.
Tauheed: I feel that I have become more confident when speaking with other people.
Knowing what you do, would you advise others to apply to The Agency programme?
Tori: Yes, it was beneficial to me and I think it would be for other people too. So many people have ideas but not the means or understanding of how to start and I think it could really help them.
Tauheed: Yeah, I would, I feel like it is a really good way to improve some general life skills such as speaking with other people and effectively managing your own ideas. In general, it just improves your confidence.
Watch this space as these Agents return in August to make these ideas a reality!