Storyhouse Chester Announces Young Person-Led Initiatives to Catalyse Positive Change in Lache

Storyhouse Chester Announces Young Person-Led Initiatives to Catalyse Positive Change in Lache

Storyhouse, Chester’s theatre, cinema and library dedicated to the empowerment of young people, has announced a new project in Lache.

‘The Agency’ is a creative entrepreneurship programme, designed for individuals aged 15 to 25 in under-served areas of the UK, aims to foster social change projects driven by the identified needs within their communities. The initiative, originally developed by the Brazilian theatre maker, activist, and journalist Marcus Faustini in the favelas of Rio De Janeiro, has now taken root in Chester, with a focus on the vibrant community of Lache.

This transformative project enables young people to lead innovative initiatives addressing critical local challenges, with Lache’s projects focussing on mental health, loneliness, voter apathy, smoking cessation and building aspirations for careers in STEM.

During December at Storyhouse, eight young people from Lache presented projects designed to drive positive change in the community. Here are the impactful projects that were successful at panel:


Project: Tackling Young People’s Loneliness

Max’s project addresses young people’s loneliness in Lache. Through a Buddy system, he aims to create shared experiences, boosting the confidence and social skills of young individuals with neurodiversity.

Jinny and Kira-Leigh

Project: Empowering Women’s Mental Health


Jinny and Kera-Leigh focus on women’s mental health, introducing a Rage Room as a safe space for expression and a craft café to raise awareness about mental health.

Don’t tell me to calm down is a Rage Room designed to minimize physical and mental effects that suppressing anger has on the body,  by exploring female rage in a safe space. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to create a mosaic from any broken pieces, in a calm environment.



Project: Inspiring STEM Careers

Georgia’s initiative aims to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals in Lache, guiding participants in constructing a robot over a five-week period, introducing them to STEM career pathways and culminating with a “Robot Wars” style event.

Each young person involved in “The Agency” is mentored by experts, carefully selected for their proficiency in delivering projects. These mentors will guide and support the participants, sharing valuable insights and expertise to ensure the success of each initiative. Starting from Spring this year, the ‘Agents’ will be fully immersed in Lache, actively working towards the realisation of their projects.


The selection panel, comprising Bense Burnett (a Storyhouse Trustee and Chair of oH Foundation), Caroline da Cunha (Westminster Foundation), Cllr Ben Walker, businessman and entrepreneur Mark Ellis, were responsible for choosing the projects that will receive support. They each demonstrated a commitment to involving diverse perspectives in shaping the future of Lache.


While not all projects made it to the next phase, the young people behind them have been assisted in exploring alternative opportunities and avenues for personal and professional development. This holistic approach ensures that every participant in “The Agency” receives valuable support and encouragement on their journey of growth.

This groundbreaking launch of “The Agency” underscores Storyhouse’s belief that the people who are best placed to create solutions for challenges within a community are those who live there.

Suzie Henderson Creative Director of Storyhouse said:

The Agency believes in the power of young people to create radical social change when they are encouraged to see their lived experience as expertise and supported to make their ideas a reality. The projects created by the Agents  addressing  mental health, loneliness, and STEM careers are born out of the lived experience of the young people themselves and their community.

I am delighted that we have become a partner on The Agency a national programme that has brought about significant change in communities across the UK over the last 10 years. The projects developed by this year’s cohort of Agents are unique to both the young people and the Lache.  I have already seen these young people grow as leaders over the last 3 months and I am excited to see their projects come fruition later this spring.  So often young people are overlooked as those who have creative solutions to the challenges we face and The Agency proves that by giving young people, space, time, money and support they can develop unique projects that are completely embedded within their community.  

Max said: ‘ it can allow me to make a difference for others, meet new people and gain more experience helping others in any way I can, something I am passionate about.’

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