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Tonya's poster at the DECAY zine workshop

The Accumulate DECAY ZINE Issue 2

The past week we have been running a series of ZINE workshops with residents of Evolve Housing‘s Stockwell hostel. It is always a bit of a stress, not knowing if the project is going to appeal or, worse still, whether anyone is going to turn up and actually do anything. Well, the fears didn’t last long, every day people would turn up, sit round a shared table, talk and share insights, stories and their creativity with each other.

Getting creative at the DECAY zine workshop

Getting creative at the DECAY zine workshop

It became a very meaningful activity, trust was developed and creative content was produced for the DECAY zine which was beautiful, emotional, personal and incredible. They produced drawings, illustrations, poems, photographs, stories and collages and it will now be a hard task to edit, select and curate these for Issue 2 of the Accumulate DECAY zine. Tonya came to the DECAY workshop after getting a new job, and she created this lovely poster which just sums up how great she felt!

Tonya's poster at the DECAY zine workshop

Tonya’s poster at the DECAY zine workshop


The start of "reverse sunset" by Tia at the DECAY workshops

The start of “reverse sunset” by Tia at the DECAY workshops

We finished the week of with a portrait and drawing workshop at Youth Subculture. The group created their own backdrops and then had their portraits taken in front of their creative work.

Aaron's backdrop for DECAY zine portrait

Aaron’s backdrop for DECAY zine portrait

It was a very empowering session, in fact the whole project has really encapsulated what Accumulate is all about – using creativity as a tool for empowerment and progressing in life. DECAY will come out in September, so be sure to grab a copy and find out just how much talent there is, that is hidden, and just needs a helping hand to be enjoyed, appreciated and admired. It’s going to be great!

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

2016 and we’re ready to go!

We’ve achieved so much in 2015- and there’s lots to look forward to in 2016.

We held a photography exhibition at Hornsey Town Hall, which surpassed all expectations:A Private View which was buzzing with appreciative public, press and our photographers, who got lots of networking done, and were delighted with the response to their work.

We were featured in The Guardian and on London Tonight, won an award from the Prime Minister.  We even found time to produce a calendar for 2016 for Alexandra Palace.

We still produced (and sold out of) lots of preserves, which means we now have funds for Accumul8 2016. And we managed to enjoy it all!

What’s even better is that all the participants in Accumul8 2015 have moved on to a more positive journey in their lives, including coming off of benefits, finding employment, getting back in touch with family, starting a training course and moving out of the hostel. And this is what Accumul8 is truly about – using creativity to build the confidence and sense of well-being to allow people to move forward, develop skills and feel better about themselves and their lives.

We are now just about to start the Accumul8 2016 Photography Workshops. This year, we will be working with three hostels for homeless people, in North, East and South London. So Accumul8 is now Pan London! 10 students have been recruited from Ravensbourne to help deliver the photography workshops and facilitate photography tutor supremo Othello De’Souza Hartley, and we have some AMAAAAAAZING partners on board including (SUPER DRUM  ROLL!!!) The Photographers’ Gallery, The Roundhouse, The Barbican, Birdsong London and of course, the wonderful Ravensbourne. Thank you to all of them for helping make Accumul8 happen!