Dough from Special Pizza Profits Being Thrown at Hip Hop Charity to Help Community’s Most Vulnerable
Plymouth businesses demonstrate the circular economy of charity with Street Factory
A popular Devon-based fish and chip shop has just launched a brand-new addition to its takeaway menu. The ‘Toby G Special’ pizza, (made up of a garlic base, onion and jalapeños, with a sweet chilli dip) was created to pay homage to Hip Hop legend, MBE Toby Gorniak as a celebration of his exceptional services to the community. St Judes Grill, based on Cecil Avenue, Plymouth, Devon is donating a generous £1 from every ‘Toby G Special’ pizza sold back to Toby’s Street Factory charity who will use it to help the most vulnerable in society.
Toby G, as he is informally known, was awarded an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge in 2018 for his Outstanding Community Contribution and just last month he starred in the Rick Astley video for Children in Need, as one of the Unsung Heroes of 2020.
Street Factory, run by Toby and his wife Jo Gorniak, was set up 14 years ago and has since supported young people via access to Hip Hop dance sessions, mentoring, clothing, food and vital transport through an unspoken sponsorship based on their individual needs. The organisation has very recently been awarded official charity status which will enable them to further help the people in the community who need it the most through fundraising, funding streams and Gift Aid.
Some of the issues and challenges facing the Street Factory community include bullying, mental health issues of all kinds, low aspiration, racism, poverty, ageism, special and additional needs, homelessness, unemployment and lack of immediate opportunities. The Street Factory service therefore supports a major number of people through these personal journeys on a day-to-day basis.
Daily, Toby continues to use all of his energies to bring about constructive change and create a path that leads to a better life, not only for himself but for everyone in his extended ‘Street Factory Family’ together with his wife Jo Gorniak. His influence seems to have no boundaries as he is continually nominated for awards and recognised for the critical community work he and his team deliver every single day.
This includes a nomination for the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award in the Lockdown Heroes category for his inspirational services to the local community. In addition to this, he has recently been shortlisted for the finals in the SME National Business Awards within the Business Hero category with the winners being announced in December.
To celebrate the launch of the ‘Toby G Special’ pizza, talented local rapper and member of the Street Factory extended family, Jacob Earley also known as Straight Up Jacob has written and performed a fun rap song about the pizza initiative for a promotional music video. Winner of BBC Young Dancer 2019, Max Revell features in the music video which was filmed in St Judes Grill by Josh Rumbold, alongside Toby G himself.
Street Factory Co-Founder, Toby G said, “Having a pizza named after you is such an honour, in a completely different way! When St Judes Grill contacted us with the idea, we were blown away and we absolutely love it! So we wanted to give back and making the music video was so much fun. Huge kudos to the team for their collaboration and for the laughs. We knew that this would put a smile on faces which is so needed at the moment but all jokes aside, it also sends a really important message - that is to support each other during difficult times. We made the music video to help raise awareness of St Judes Grill during the COVID-19 pandemic and repay some of their kind karma with their donations to Street Factory. We know it’s hard for so many right now and that’s why we are so grateful that £1 from every pizza sold will be coming back into Street Factory to help us to help those most vulnerable.”
Toby G continued, “We would like to thank all of our Street Factory family for engaging in this and who have very kindly donated their time to make the music video. This includes amazing filmographer and photographer, Josh Rumbold, incredible rapper, Jacob Earley and hugely talented winner of this year’s BBC Young Dancer, Max Revell. All of these have been with us for over ten years collectively and we are so very proud of them.”
Owner of St Judes Grill, Amir Ahmad said, “We were delighted to create the Toby G Special. Toby and the Street Factory team have helped us over the years so we know first-hand the value of the life-changing work they do. Just like the circular shape of a pizza, this is a circle of charity. We are making these delicious pizzas, selling them and then giving a cut back to Street Factory. The work the charity does here on the ground, in our local community, is amazing and we are so proud to be able to call them our friends.”
Street Factory is also in the process of raising funds for its very own ‘Hip Hop Kingdom’, which will hold the first Hip Hop theatre in the UK, a music studio, film and media suite, community café, dance studio and a safe space for the community to call home. This international centre will be built in the heart of Plymouth and will unite people from all over, nurturing home-grown talent. The team is currently fundraising and is hoping to reach the target of 3.5 million by 2021.
Street Factory thrives today through a mix of grant funding from Arts Council England (ACE), the National Lottery, the People’s Health Trust and the Rank Foundation, all geared up to deliver sustainable and accountable outcomes. Street Factory creates real and powerful change that empowers and enables people of all ages the opportunity to unlock the potential that sits within them, despite facing a range of social and economic challenges.
To order a ‘Toby G Special’, visit St Judes Grill’s website at https://st-jude-grill.business.site/ or call the team on 01752 661956. To find out more about Street Factory CIC, its work and sessions, visit its Facebook page at: @Stfactorycic.
The music video link: https://youtu.be/AGWXHx_fkvE