Dance for change

10 October 2019

Street Factory uses hip hop culture and dance as a vehicle to help positively change the lives of local people in Plymouth.

Our life circumstances can impact our mental and physical health and create health inequalities. Street Factory support people with mental health issues to build confidence, develop a sense of belonging and help open doors for new opportunities.

After engagement with the community, partners and agencies within the area, they realised there was a lack of accessible activities and a desire to bring the community together.

In this video, project members talk about the impact the project has had on them:


The Hip Hop into the Lights project, funded by the Trust, aims to enable local people to form stronger social links and improve life skills such as communication, self-confidence and motivation through peer support and dance.

Toby, a Director at Street Factory, said: “It is all about helping people with mental health issues to support them to discover themselves and decide who they want to be in the future. It’s about building confidence and strength.

“The project has been amazing and those involved have started to make plans to live their best lives, and discover their passions. Many have showcased their talents in a public performance to their peers, family and business community, having a voice through the arts and Hip hop culture.

Nathan, who attends the project, said: “It’s a great start to your week. Venting any issues you may have and knowing you’re not alone, you all relate to each other – you all have your own unique experiences but when you are together, you are all there as one and dealing with it together. It lifts a weight off your shoulders.”

Toby added: “There are so many stories of success. Dreams are being put into practice and they want to share this knowledge by continuing the project and welcoming new members.

“One young autistic man who has gained so much out of the mentoring feels he can now communicate with his peers and family. He has also discovered he is an amazing dancer and has just won a place on Autisms got Talent.

“Throughout the project we speak openly with the group and their ideas or needs are listened to, and acted upon. They have become strong individuals, and feel empowered to lead and shape the project and their own lives.

“Their friendships are strong, and often they support each other outside the group meetings on social media groups, or by text message. They lift each other up and send each other positive messages and quotes when they know the other is struggling. This has had a knock on effect on their families, and peers, as they now live a more positive life, feel less isolated and have a sense of purpose.”

The project has been funded by the Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in the South West.


To read more news from the Trust, click here.

Support us, play The Health Lottery!

You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

Begin a new application