The Agency

April - Dec 2019
Partners: London Borough of Culture 2019, Greater London Authority


The Agency programme was originally developed by Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Manchester in partnership with People’s Palace Projects.  It 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 ethos 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’.

Blackhorse Workshop was chosen to deliver the The Agency with a view to establishing its own youth programme, building closer links with others in the local community.   The 9 month training for 15  young people from the Walthamstow and Higham Hill areas focused on developing creative ideas for social enterprises. After an initial period of 12 weeks of training, their ideas were pitched to a panel and 3 were awarded £2,000 funding and the support of a dedicated producer for a further 12 weeks to bring the ideas into reality.  The three chosen projects included:

Essence by Faith developed by Faith Agba-Butler, Rennique Tappa and Azrael Simonson
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.

What they delivered:
– 2 x workshops delivered for the public as part of Black History Month at the Royal College of Art and at Gnome House exploring Black Heritage

Non-Stop Boxing developed by Tauheed Hussain
A boxing club aimed at diverting young people away from violence and getting involved with knife crime.

What he delivered:
– 2 x boxing workshops held at East London Boxing Academy, Leyton 

Ignite by Dorea Nengese, Tori Allison-Powell and Asiya Kigozi 
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.

What they delivered:
– 4 x public workshops at Gnome House, Blackhorse Road for young people on the subjects of budgeting, healthy relationships, debating and street based first aid.

‘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. 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’.  – Tori Allison-Powell, co-founder of Ignite