Battersea Arts Centre announces the three new young people led social change projects to be awarded funding and development via The Agency.

Each recipient will receive up to £2000 seed funding, continued support from Battersea Arts centre and specialist advice from tailored experts.

The projects that have been selected are: Working Out the Kinks, led by Angelina Okafor, 16 and Phillipa Okoli, 17, The Glow Up, led by Kyle Frank, 24 and Streets Got Talent, led by Zafir Ahmad, 17.

Working Out the Kinks aims to empower BAME girls aged 7-11 to embrace their natural hair and learn how to care for it through scientific workshops. The Glow Up promotes positive body image for secondary school students and Streets Got Talent organise music and talent events for young people on the Alton Estate.

Now in its sixth year, The Agency works with young people aged 15-25 and from marginalised areas to create social enterprises, events, projects and businesses that will have a positive impact on their local communities. Battersea Arts Centre is The Agency’s joint lead partner, along with Contact Manchester and People’s Palace Projects.

The programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund using money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, supports young people (Agents) developing the self-esteem, organisational, interpersonal and business skills they need to devise and execute entrepreneurial projects, improving their sense of agency, changing their perception of their place in the city and opportunities open to them.

Angelina Okafor and Phillipa Okoli said: “We are so excited, so thrilled and so relieved. Thorough the Agency I feel like we’ve become more driven. We know where we want to go, what we want to do and how we’re going to do it. We are excited about the future.

"Nowadays many people look down on the younger generation and tell them to do stuff rather than encouraging them to think for themselves. The Agency got us to take the initiative - this is our idea - we planned it, we solved it, we made it and that means a lot.”

Agent Zafir Ahmad said: “Before The Agency, I didn’t feel strong when expressing my ideas. Now I can talk about my idea without being embarrassed or shy.”

Panellist Kim Dubois, cultural attached to the US Embassy said: "It was fantastic to be a part of an event that develops confidence, communication and business skills in local youth. Programs like the Agency empower talented young people to be advocates for change and problem solvers in their communities. The young people I met today are all worthy of further support and encouragement. It was a great day at the Battersea Arts Centre!”

Liz Moreton, Head of Creativity and Social Change at Battersea Arts Centre said:

"The Agency has had an immense effect on the Agents lives and Battersea Arts Centre as an organisation, and we can't wait to see the positive impacts the new Agents will have in their communities."