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Handling Covid19 – Street Factory

07 May 2024   /   Natalie Kay

This week we are spotlighting the fantastic work of Street Factory, a Plymouth-based Hip Hop Social Collective.

Street Factory has been known to the Foundation since 2018 as one of the 8 original Place-Based funded organisations in Plymouth. Since then, they have performed at our annual conference and grown as an organisation.

We spoke to Jo Gorniak, co-founder and Director at Street Factory, who runs the CIC with her husband Toby.

Founded in 2007, Street Factory’s tagline is “Transforming lives, so they exceed their potential and fall in love with their purpose!”. Over the past 13 years, Jo and Toby have been offering street dance and hip-hop classes to children and young adults, often subsedising or sponsoring those who are unable to pay full fees. They also host over 18 dance groups and have created a mentoring environment and a caring community ‘hub’. This means they are much more than a dance studio – the Street Factory team get to know their service users and offer emotional supportm promoting peace, fun, love and unity.

In a ‘usual’ week, Jo and Toby would be delivering their sessions from their Plymouth theatre to over 300 service users, as well as working with their hip-hop outreach team in schools, training programmes and other nationwide projects.

However, when the Covid19 pandemic broke out and lockdown set in, Street Factory were unable to deliver their usual classes and workshops, meaning the team have had to think innovatively about how to adapt to the restrictions. Jo, Toby and the team have been quick to act, immediately turning to digital means in order to stay connected and to support their 300+ local community service users. They have been offering daily (sometimes hourly) community support, and have been running hip-hop lessons digitally from their living room. Due to the isolation and loneliness of lockdown, they are needed now more than ever.

Street Factory creates change that empowers their service users of all ages, races and experience the chance to unlock their own potential, despite facing a range of social and economic challenges.

If you would like more information about Street Factory CIC, you can:
Visit their Facebook page
Visit their Youtube Channel
Drop them an email at streetfactorystudios@hotmail.com

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