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.
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.
Creative Director, Street Factory
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.