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Geron, Claire, Deluxe, Sabela and Jay at the Accumul8 Shoreditch workshop.

Learning photography at Accumulate isn’t just about learning photography.

Accumulate is all about learning. learning new skills, learning about photography and for the young people involved, to learn more about themselves and their potential. One thing Accumulate also tries to do is to vary the learning styles we use as much as possible. So, even though, we are delivering photography workshops every week and the participants are learning to use DSLR cameras and how to take good photographs, the learning also comes from industry speakers, visiting galleries and exhibitions, doing activities and developing personal skills (such as communication, time management and self-discipline skills) in a comfortable and trusting environment.

This is all part of a journey that the participants go on. It is a journey of self -discovery, such as when the group did the portrait workshop at Photofusion and wrote letters to their future selfs. They decorated their portraits with stickers and jewels and shared their insights and letters with each other. It became a situation where people opened up and talked about their hopes for themselves.

Sharing and learning together at the Photofusion workshop.

Sharing and learning together at the Photofusion workshop.

Louis shares his letter to himself in 15 years time.

Louis shares his letter to himself in 15 years time.

A really popular, and very exciting, annual Accumulate photography workshop is the visit to London Fashion Week where the group photographs all the fashionistas who hang about outside the shows. This year, we held the “pre-workshop” at Somerset House and invited three fashion industry speakers to tell of their stories, their set-backs and achievements. One of the speakers was Tori Taiwo, a fashion designer and photographer, who had been previously homeless, and told the group that their situation should not be used to hold them back but can be turned into something positive. A really hard hitting, powerful and heart felt message for the Accumulate group, and Tori spent time speaking about how her own personal negative situation which became a force for eventual success. All it took her was self-belief, grit, determination and resilience. And those don’t cost anything.

Younnis shares his photograph with a fashionista at London Fashion Week.

Jay shares his photograph with a fashionista at London Fashion Week.

And so the Accumulate photography workshops have now come to an end for 2017 and the selection process starts for their exhibition.

The last workshop the group had was a street photography session which took place in Shoreditch. Shoreditch is all about of crazy graffiti, Hoxton hipsters and cool cafes, but this last Accumul8 workshop was actually about learning that everyone had been on an incredible life journey. They had become more confident, happy, made new friends and were enthusiastic and energised by their new skills. This is true for the Accumulate participants and also the Ravensbourne students. Just young people who enjoy learning, sharing and being with each other. Roll on the Accumulate exhibition!

Geron, Claire, Deluxe, Sabela and Jay at the Accumul8 Shoreditch workshop.

Geron, Claire, Deluxe, Sabela and Younis at the Accumulate Shoreditch workshop.

Crep Protect and The Accumul8 Scholarship

Crep Protect are a cool company, they are even cooler as they are changing someone’s life by funding a scholarship for an Accumul8 participant to study on the year long Access to HE course in design and digital media at Ravensbourne College. We asked them why and this is what they said….. (we love them even more now!)

“Crep Protect , created by 3 brothers from London’s district of Kingsbury , 3 brothers who had a simple desire to keep their sneakers fresh and to share the product with close friends / family and maybe a few retailers .
From humble beginnings – self funded , even when there were no funds available , to now just a few years later , to where the business currently stands , distributed in 52 countries and retailed in the most exclusive sneaker boutiques as well as all of the major players.

The reason that Crep Protect gets involved in opportunities such as this is because to a man , we have on occasion been paper close to losing everything that we have , we have been in the situation where you feel lost and helpless , yearning for someone to care , for someone to give you just a little lift , to get you off your knees and get you moving forward .
We know that feeling of everything being lost , so we know that if we can do something good for someone else , for no reason than the fact that we can , that we should , then maybe someone else will do the same .
When we are up and running ,when we are doing well , we should never forget to look around , to look and see who needs that little nudge , that opportunity to show that they are worthy , that they are talented and that they should not be measured by the situation that they find themselves in .
This is why we care – because it very easily could be any of us.”

So, if anyone out there relates to Crep Protect’s story and wants to help, feels inspired and can change a young, homeless person’s life by helping to fund an Accumul8 scholarship then we would love to hear from you, and you can find out more on our pledges page here

Shoreditch Shoots and the Accumul8 Gang

This week we went to Autograph’s premises in Shoreditch. It is the home of the Association of Black Photographers and we were really privileged to be shown the archive of photographs by black and diverse photographers, hear about the organisation and learn about a wealth of photographic work with huge cultural and historical importance.

Ali Eissa from Autograph in Shoreditch shows off the wonders of their archive to the Accumul8 participants.

Ali Eissa from Autograph in Shoreditch shows off the wonders of their archive to the Accumul8 participants.

About 95% of Accumul8’s participants this year are from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds and so this visit and significant relevance and importance to them and was something that they could all relate to.

The amazing and inspirational Gisela Torres then led the photography workshop around the streets of Shoreditch, with the students from Ravensbourne assisting and supporting the Accumul8 participants to take the best possible shots in the lead up to their exhibition at The Guardian.

Goda from Ravensbourne, Younnes from Freedom from Torture and Geron from East London YMCA on the Accumul8 Shoreditch Shoot.

Goda from Ravensbourne, Younnes from Freedom from Torture and Geron from East London YMCA on the Accumul8 Shoreditch Shoot.

The participants, who are from 9 different hostels across London, are now friends with each other, sharing their images and being open about their work and aspirations within the project. It is so amazing how the impact of this project goes beyond learning about photography and encourages confidence, communication skills and pride in the participants.

Gisela Torres, an Accumul8 tutor, shares her photography wisdom and skills with Jay and Alex, two Accumul8 participants.

Gisela Torres, an Accumul8 tutor, shares her photography wisdom and skills with Jay and Alex, two Accumul8 participants on the Shoreditch Shoots photography workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accumul8 photography sessions are go!

9 hostels, 36 participants, 6 student helpers, 2 film makers, 1 amazing tutor and a whole lot of energy – the Accumul8 photography workshops have started! There is such a positive vibe from having such a diverse cross section of people attending from all different backgrounds. Friendships are being made by people who just wouldn’t normally meet but are connecting because they are taking pleasure and excitement in being involved in a creative activity and learning something new, skills are being developed and positive experiences are being built that will help people increase their confidence, well-being and self esteem – which is what Accumul8 aims to do. Positive change is happening, on a localised level, but with an impact that changes lives and futures.

The first Accumul8 photography workshop of 2017

The first Accumul8 photography workshop of 2017

Learning about shutter speed, depth of field and apertures

Learning about shutter speed, depth of field and aperture

Concentrating and taking images

Concentrating and taking images

Accumul8 photography workshops – all set to go!

This month we are starting the Accumul8 photography workshops for young people who have been affected by homelessness and we have some amazing partners for the project including Tate Modern, The Barbican, Somerset House, The Photographers’ Gallery and The Guardian.

When the Accumul8 photography workshops were set up, in 2014, we worked with just one hostel – the North London YMCA Hostel in Crouch End. This year we are very excited to be working with nine hostels across London, so a major organisational activity!, and we will be extending the good work we do to places like Stonewall Housing, that supports members of the LGBT community, and also Freedom from Torture, who help and support victims or witnesses of torture. Other hostels that are participating are East London YMCA Hostel, North London YMCA Hostel, the Evolve group of hostels and Caritas Anchor Housing.

What’s even better is two of the participants from last year’s Accumul8 programme will be joining us as workshop facilitators. It is really wonderful to see the transition that Accumul8 makes to peoples’ lives and nothing evidences this more than when they want to come back and help others who were in the position that they were in a year ago. So, welcome Dan Fifield and Sam Adesanya – you will be super role models and mentors for Accumul8 2017.

Dan Fifield, once an Accumul8 participant, now an Accumul8 photography mentor, with his work at the Accumul8 exhibition 2016.

Sam Adesanya with Marice Cumber, founder of Accumul8, at the Accumul8 exhibition 2016. Sam won the Accumul8 photography scholarship and is now studying Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne.

The Accumul8 DECAY zine – it’s here and it’s glorious!

So the Accumul8 zine called DECAY is finally here, – edited, designed, printed and available. It looks cool, real cool and is full of the random thoughts, ideas, drawings and writings of a group of young people who are living at the North London YMCA Hostel in Crouch End. Every week the group gathered together and sat round a big table in the canteen and just drew, wrote and explored and expressed their thoughts. Calmness prevailed and everyone worked together towards a common goal, the production of their own zine.

Shana drawing for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

Shana drawing for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

Working together for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

Working together for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a lot of midnight sweat on scanning, editing and designing the Accumul8 Zine came to life and DECAY arrived. And we love it.

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DECAY zine cover

Summertime

Summertime

Cos People Get Scared

Cos People Get Scared

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many many huge thanks to the ever so creative and brilliant Brian Baderman for leading on the workshops and and to the lovely student helpers from Ravensbourne for collaborating on DECAY. It’s been a great project and look out for Issue 2, coming in the springtime for you to peruse, savour and delight in.

A happy DECAY reader

A happy DECAY reader

In other news, Marice Cumber, founder and director of Accumul8, won the prestigious Social Entrepreneur Leader of the Year award from the UK Leadership Awards. Fab to have the recognition and that other people can see the value of what Accumul8 is trying to achieve for young people who are homeless and deserve something better in life.

Marice Cumber, Founder of Accumul8, with her Social Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The Accumul8 Magazine Project – DECAY

Accumul8 has started a new project with the young people living at the North London YMCA Hostel – creating stories, images and content that will be collated together, edited and produced into a magazine. The magazine is going to be called DECAY and it will be representative of all the creativity, ideas and imaginations of the hostel residents. DECAY is a collaboration between the young hostel residents and also the students at Ravensbourne and shows what can be produced in a collaborative, supportive environment where inner voices are encouraged and people feel safe to explore their ideas and imagination.

Abdul writing a poem for the Decay. Abdul has arrived from Syria, speaks no English, and this was his first day in the hostel.

Abdul writing a poem for the Decay. Abdul has arrived from Syria, speaks no English, and this was his first day in the hostel.

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Brian is leading the workshop, he is also the “scribe” for people’s stories

Nadia, from Ravensbourne College, and Kenny, from the NLYMCA hostel, collaborate on a drawing for the DECAY magazine

Nadia, from Ravensbourne College, and Kenny, from the NLYMCA hostel, collaborate on a drawing for the DECAY magazine

Fundraiser for Accumul8 – especially for Sci Fi Lovers

Stonewall Housing are having an Accumul8 Fundraiser “Nerdy Pub Quiz” to raise funds for their residents (from the LGBQT community) to attend next year’s Accumul8 photography project.

So what is so Nerdy about this Nerdy Pub Quiz?? What they mean is that you need to really know about, love and be obsessed by all things futuristic and sci-fi on film and telly and that is related to Star Trek, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Tolkein or Doctor Who.

The Stonewall Housing Nerdy Quiz Accumul8 Fundraiser (what a mouthful!) is on 18th October, and is at Doggets Coat and Badge, the lovely pub just by Blackfriars Bridge. You can enter individually or in a team of 5 people and you can book your place here. Who knows –  you might even get to cuddle up with these folks…..

Star Trek Super Heroes

Star Trek Super Heroes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a list of the amazing prizes to be won at the Stonewall Nerdy Quiz:

For second place, there are the following prizes for the team:

There will also be a raffle which will include:

More About Stonewall Housing:

Stonewall Housing is the specialist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) housing advice and support provider in England. We provide housing support for LGBT people in their own homes, supported housing for young LGBT people, as well as free, confidential housing advice for LGBT people of all ages. We also research and lobby for LGBT housing rights, so that all LGBT people can feel safe and secure in their homes.

 

The Accumul8 exhibition at The Guardian

July 14th was the opening night of the Accumul8 exhibition and what a night it was! The best bit was seeing the Accumul8 participants run into The Guardian exhibition space and literally whoop with excitement at seeing their work displayed in such a prestigious space. They were so proud of their work, so enthusiastic and excited to speak to all the visitors and even happier when they sold their photographs! It was a beautiful moment to see them being celebrated and rewarded for their talents and achievements and feeling so positive about themselves, their value and their potential.

This film was made by Simon Allinson, a Ravensbourne graduate, about the private view and you can hear Jamal and Isaac speak about what they got from attending Accumul8 and how they have benefitted. Pretty much sums it up!