People’s Palace Projects were excited to host Marcus Faustini in the first half of June, partnering with Contact Manchester and Battersea Arts Centre, to launch The Agency UK. The Agency aims to empower young people to effect positive change in their own communities, and takes inspiration from an innovative model developed in Brazil, Faustini’s Agência de Redes para a Juventude (the Youth Agency Networks) in Rio de Janeiro. The project will work with people who are 15 – 29 years old from the Clapham Junction and Battersea area in London, and the Moston and Harpurhey areas in Manchester. Participants will pitch ideas for projects, businesses and events to take place in their local communities, and The Agency will support the participants in realising their projects. Watch this short video on the programme here.

Faustini’s UK trip began with four days of intensive training for The Agency’s Facilitators, Peer Mentors, Project Managers and producers. It was wonderful to have the whole UK project team together in one place, planning, learning and laughing. The teams from BAC and Contact worked together to develop their own approach to Agencia’s existing methodology and structure for the first 12 weeks of the UK programme, which runs September-December 2013. It was an intense, focused and challenging few days, which yielded a fruitful exchange of knowledge, expertise and plenty of new ideas. Faustini then went on to meet with a variety of PPP’s partners who work in the arena of arts and social justice.

The success and scale of Agência de Redes para a Juventude in Brazil is a huge inspiration for the UK project team, affirming the potential of The Agency in the UK. Watch this space for further updates and follow us on twitter @PPPQMUL or @Agency_Change.

The Agency is a collaboration between Battersea Arts Centre, Contact Manchester and People’s Palace Projects. It is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.