BAME people experience and suffer homelessness at over 5 times that of white people. Accumulate’s work is therefore to challenge the hopelessness and lack of opportunity this community particularly faces as part of our mission to improve the lives of all people affected by homelessness. Accumulate has always been committed to equality and inclusion and our board members, artists, industry speakers and tutors reflect our wide community and so have best understanding of the ongoing barriers and challenges our participants face. Accumulate strives for equality and inclusion at all times and at all levels within the charity and the work it does, it will continue to do so and it will continuously make every effort to improve and increase our impact for all.
The Accumulate Art School for the Homeless has been kept very busy during these difficult and uncertain times. We thought it would be a great time to update you on what we have been up to!
Our creative workshops stopped in mid March (just before official lockdown). We made a decision that we could not risk anything due to the living and health circumstances of our participants. However, we knew that stopping our creative workshops meant far more than just a weekly activity for the Accumulate participants. We would also be stopping a community, friendships, purpose and learning for people who are very vulnerable, at risk, isolated and living in very dire situations. So, we pivoted very quickly and made a decision to move to online activities. We also planned to send out art kits with all the materials and instructions for specific art activities to all our participants.
Through their involvement in the Accumulate Art Kit project the participants could continue to engage, belong and progress on their creative learning journey and be part of the Accumulate creative community.
An Accumulate workshop pre lockdown.
Creativity during Lockdown
The first Accumulate Art Kit activity launched at the start of lockdown on 23rd March and had a really really positive reaction. The participants were excited to get something, a kin to a special gift in the post. Because of how the Art Kit has been curated and put together, along with the design of the kit itself, it made them feel valued and an important part of Accumulate and motivated to engage. We used WhatsApp to keep in touch with the group, coupled with Skype and Zoom for the workshops. We also created step by step films online and every kit also had full instructions so the participant could take part in their own time.
Support for our project
Off the back of this pilot activity, we received funding from Crisis, The RSA, LandAid and others to expand the Accumulate Art Kit project across London. So far, we have sent out over 2500 Accumulate Art Kits to people who are living in hostels and emergency accommodation in London and who want to do something creative at this time. All of these are delivered by a magnificent crew of local Accumulate community volunteers!
The Tottenham & Harringey Accumulate Art Kit volunteer delivery crew!
Art Kit Contents
The Accumulate Art Kit project is a mammoth planning, purchasing and packing task but one that is really bringing creative learning out to people who are so restricted, are suffering from poor mental health and lack of wellbeing and have so little to engage them at this time as all hostel activities having been stopped. So far the Accumulate Art Kits have included collage, animation, felt making, tapestry, self portraits and drawing activities.
Accumulate Art Kit complete with snacks for concentration!
Obviously, none of us knows how long the current situation will last for. We will be continuing to send out the Accumulate Art Kits and doing online workshops until we can get back to being able to run the actual creative workshops. We have also continued to run the Accumulate podcasting workshops. This group meets online weekly and are putting together the content for “News for the Unconnected” – audio broadcasts about being homeless during CV-19 and the support that is available to this group.
The Accumulate podcast News for The Unconnected workshop delivered via Skype
Like everyone, we are keen to get back to face to face Accumulate creative workshops and activities and also to have the postponed Accumulate exhibition and launch of The Book of Homelessness.
It may not be until 2021 but it will happen and until then we will be, as usual, continuing to innovate and improve homeless people’s lives through creativity and creative learning and which is needed so much at this time.
Get in touch!
Please do email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the Accumulate Art Kit project. If you do want to support the Accumulate Art Kit project you can do so by clicking here.
With every best wish and stay well,
The Accumulate Team
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/8F236294-B816-46A6-BF71-3A61232560EC.jpeg421478Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2020-05-27 10:11:272020-05-27 11:44:13Accumulate Art Kits – Update!
In these critical times, lockdown continues across most of the world. Life as we all know it has paused and the majority of us are confined to our homes. We are a small charity and we support people affected by homelessness. A safe place to call home is out of reach for our participants. Living in hostels or temporary accommodation, the negative effects of isolation and loneliness on mental wellbeing can only increase the anxiety and extreme vunerability felt in what is an already incredibly stressful and uncertain situation.
A Creative Community
We have worked so hard to create a supportive community amongst our group since our course started. We don’t want to lose this because of this ever changing situation. So, we have taken our creative workshops online, continuing connect our group virtually!
Accumulate 100 Challenge
Accumulate tutor Soofiya Chaudry developed a challenge for our group to complete but anyone can take part! Why not give it a go? A list of 100 prompts from which to complete 100 drawings. There are no rules, draw in colour or black & white, sketches can be as weird & wonderful as you like! Why not share them with us? Click here to get involved.
Amazing artwork from our 100 Challenge!
Every week we gather together our group via Whats app and Zoom and set a variety of creative challenges from photography to illustration. Sharing the results with the group and chatting together gives a great sense of togetherness and support. Huge thanks to Accumulate tutor Tori Taiwo and Ravensbourne University for your time and support to this workshop.
An image shared by our group as part of the Accumulate photo challenge
It was amazing to have this feedback during one of our online challenges……one participant said ‘‘Creating takes my mind to a goooood place…!”
After the success of our podcast series Sound Judgement, we are so keen to keep this training running. The visible joy of learning can be seen on our participants faces here, continuing our podcast training via Skype. The group are currently working on a news podcast by and for people affected by homelessness providing much need support at this critical time. With big thanks to Williamz Omope, Greenwich Digital Skills and Ravensbourne University.
Podcast Training via Skype!
Art kits by post
Receiving a parcel in the post has been a great way to stay connected with our group. We send a creative activity along with some snacks to keep energised. Something for each person to look forward to and activity to keep busy and pass the time.
This venture has been so kindly funded by Crisis UK’s Emergency Fund. Enabling us to buy more kits and in turn support more people affected by homelessness find some positivity through creativity. With this funding it has meant that we have been able to support Jolt, an art studio based in Shropshire who support adults with mental health challenges through art and design projects. We have included one of Jolt’s beautiful felting kits in this week’s parcel. We are so happy we have been able to do good twice, supporting Jolt through purchasing their kit and providing an activity to those who are homeless, isolated and extra vulnerable at this time.
Art activity parcel including felt set by Jolt. Funded by Crisis UK
We have had requests now for over 200 of the Accumulate art kits from hostels. We will have an online exhibition space for everyone to connect into and enjoy what the group has achieved.
Zine of Love
A new project in the pipeline, working with our group creatively online, is a new Accumulate zine. ‘Zine of Love’ will be run by the Accumulate tutor ,visual artist & illustrator Soofiya Chaudry. Using illustrations and creative writing produced by group, recording their experiences in this difficult time.
We will continue to share and celebrate all our groups creativity over the weeks to come on social media. Please do follow along. Hoping to bring strength and support to our own creative community.
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IMG_7323.jpg10471242Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2020-04-08 10:37:592020-04-09 09:07:37Creativity in the time of Coronavirus
A Fashion Collection created by young homeless people
Last week we gathered to celebrate the creative achievements of a group of people, all of whom are living in hostels and temporary accommodation. This event was so overwhelming for all involved! The energy and support in the room was unbelievable and it was wonderful to see just how far these participants have come.
A series of workshops
Over a week in November 2019, our participants participated in a series of fashion workshops. They reworked, redesigned and repurposed surplus stock and fabric that had been so kindly donated by the fashion retailer Ted Baker. Each participant designed and made a totally unique outfit for a specific member of the team of the law firm Briffa. The challenge? To redefine what a lawyer should look like for the 21st century. To reverse hierarchies and overturn stereotypes and enable and often ignored group of people to be in charge and in control. We were assisted on this project by fashion students from Ravensbourne University.
Empowerment through creativity
Through being involved in this project, the Accumulate participants gained self confidence, wellbeing and their personal value increased. They learnt new skills and became much more positive about themselves, their potential and their future. New friendships were made that didn’t exist before and boundaries and misconceptions were broken down. This ultimately reinforces an objective of Accumulate, to empower people affected by homelessness through their engagement and participation in creative projects.
The NO JUDGEMENT project, creative workshops, fashion show and party have all been achieved through the collaboration and generous sponsorship of the Briffa law firm, Ted Baker, Greenwich Digital Skills and Ravensbourne University London. We can’t thank you all enough!
Daniel Kelly and Nathan Singh from Ted Baker with Accumulate founder Marice Cumber.
This Autumn has brought a jam packed schedule to Accumulate as we are getting ready to launch our brand new project, A Radio Station for the Homeless!
A podcast taster session. Photo credit @benpetersphoto
This project will give our participants, all young homeless people, the opportunity to digitally broadcast their stories. They will also gain the technical skills needed to present, record and edit podcasts. We were thrilled to receive funding from Nesta UK as part of their Amplified programme. A fund supporting cultural and creative organisations that seek to develop digital ideas that generate social impact. We are also so happy to be partnering once again with Ravensbourne University London whose amazing tutors will pass on their digital expertise to train our participants.
Our particpants working with tutor Natalie Orchard. Photo credit @benpetersphoto
A Voice to a Marginalised Community
This project gives our group of young people a chance to tell their stories, giving a much needed voice to a marginalised community. ‘Its not all about being homeless!’ says our founder & Director Marice Cumber. ‘It will be a diverse and creative content made and broadcasted by people affected by homelessness – their music, their stories, their spoken word, their poetry, their interviews and programmes about the issues that matter to them.’
Working with Ravensbourne tutor Jack Brown. Photo credit @samvholt
Training by Industry Experts
We have been lucky enough to introduce some amazing guest speakers and tutors to work with our group. Industry experts worked with them on areas from creative branding to pitching & presentation skills and technical broadcast training.
The group with The Receipts podcast host Milena Sanchez
Branding workshop with Fahud Ahned, Senior Creative at Design Bridge. Photo credit @benpetersphoto
Technical skills with BBC producer & engineer Peter Monnery. Photo credit @benpetersphoto
Empowerment and Confidence
It has been amazing to see how far this group have come since our first taster sessions to now when our group are pitching their subject ideas to industry professionals! Each member of the groups confidence and self esteem has grown week on week, empowering them to a more positive outlook.
Pitch day! Presenting to industry professionals. Photo credit @samvholt
Stay tuned, six podcast subjects have now been selected and our group will go one to use their new found skills to produce and broadcast.
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/IMG_5193.jpg8061242Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2019-11-03 12:44:562020-01-01 09:24:44Radio Station for the Homeless
A new academic year and brings fresh focus for Accumulate
We are Accumulate and we are the first Art School for the Homeless. Based in London, we provide art school level tuition by professional tutors for people who often feel excluded from the regular education system. We work with participants from hostels from all over the capital. We offer each participant the opportunity to find empowerment and the chance to further their education through creativity.
Our course offer is extensive. Joining the Accumulate course means a participant can study a wide range of creative mediums. Our workshops include photography, fashion, visual arts, illustration and film which gives the group room to fully explore their creativity. We work in collaboration with major cultural institutions, universities and industry professionals to support our group’s learning.
This year Accumulate is super ambitious! Our course starts in October running all the way through to June 2020. We offer progression routes via our scholarship scheme onto the Access course at Ravensbourne University London. From there the Accumulate participants go onto the BA course. This is significant as it gives participants the chance to gain a university education which otherwise may not have been possible.
Thank you for following along on our journey. We can’t wait to share with you our new programme of workshops starting this Autumn. Watch this space….there is SO much to come!
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/IMG_3715.jpg8201236Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2019-09-04 10:26:562020-01-01 09:24:38Accumulate – The Art School for The Homeless
The Accumulate 2019 Exhibition launches April 2019!
On the 9th April, ‘Youth Culture’ the Accumulate exhibition for 2019 launches at Autograph in Shoreditch, East London. We are so looking forward to showcasing the incredible creative achievements of the group of participants who have taken part in the Accumulate programme this year.
Our group have covered a wide range of creative mediums in a really short space of time, given we only started with the group in January! We have introduced new workshops this year including fashion and sculpture which the group have absolutely loved. Collaborating with some big industry names which has been an absolute thrill for all of us involved.
The Road to Youth Culture
The start of the year brought together the group of participants. Each person taking part is affected by homelessness. Participants have come to from 7 hostels across London. For the first of our workshops we worked with our exhibition hosts and long term collaborators Autograph. Participants got to hear about the context and background to their extensive photographic archive as well as learning new skills with the camera before shooting on location around Shoreditch. Getting out of the hostel environment is a very important element to our project. Participants enjoy the experience of visiting and exploring new places as a focus to their workshop, helping them gain confidence away from the hostel.
On location in Shoreditch (Photo credit Sabela Peinado)
2019 was the first time we have worked with a fashion theme in the Accumulate programme. We collaborated with international fashion brand Levis, London cultural space Somerset Houseand the photography archive, Youth Club Archive on this workshop. Participants got inspired, working with the theme of Youth Culture, reviewing Youth Club’s amazing social history archive of images. They then went on, using these influences to customise the iconic Levis Trucker Jacket to give it their own unique and personal look. An amazing outlet for self expression, learning new skills and finding inspiration working together as a group. The levels of creativity and imagination was just outstanding!
With the jackets complete, the group took part in photoshoots outside Somerset House and on location at the Printworks venue in East London. The group were fashion models and photographers for the day! The took it in turn to photograph each other, perfecting their newly learned camera skills!
Along with a fashion workshop, we were so excited to introduce Sculpture to the programme this year. This workshop was kindly funded by Art UK as part of their ‘Art is all around you’ UK wide sculpture project. We also partnered again with our friends at Autograph. We were very excited to hold part of the workshop at the BBC Broadcasting House! Inspired by the sculptures and history surrounding this iconic building, our participants worked on themes that influenced their identity and own ideas of youth culture. They began modelling their sculptures first from cardboard then covering them in plaster before finally painting them with breathtaking results!
Adding plaster to a sculpture (Photo credit sabelapeinado.com)
Amongst all this we also found time to create Issue 4 of the Accumulate zine Decay!! The creative ideas were first produced by our group, putting their own thoughts and feelings down on paper. This work was then passed on the 60 graphic design students at Ravensbourne University who worked to create the final spreads seen in the zine.
Creating at the zine workshop
The Youth Culture pop up exhibition will feature all the work our participants have produced during these workshops, including a show of the stunning customised Levis jackets and the official launch of Decay 4. As part of this event we will also be awarding scholarships to selected Accumulate participants, giving them the opportunity to further their creative studies on the Access HE course in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne University London. A life changing opportunity.
There is still time to register for this free event – click here. Please show you support for our participants and come along. We would all love to see you there!
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/IMG_2390.jpg8331223Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2019-04-04 18:24:282019-10-10 14:22:59Youth Culture – An Accumulate Exhibition
We have been delighted to introduce sculpture as a new medium to the Accumulate programme for 2019. Four days of workshops hosted by the BBC at Broadcasting House, as well as Autograph in Shoreditch and funded by Art UK as part of their countrywide ‘Sculpture Around You’ project.
Exploring themes & ideas
Day One began with discovering the history and themes behind the sculptures on display at BBC Broadcasting House. We were so lucky to have all these public sculptures brought to life during this tour by Head of History at the BBC, Robert Seatter. Following this, the group expanded and explored the themes they had been discussing, committing their ideas and thoughts to paper.
Accumulate at Broadcasting House!
Exploring themes & ideas
Bringing each design to life
Armed with their designs, participants began working with cardboard for the basis of their models. They then added plaster to their designs. They looked just stunning! Paint was then added to completely bring the sculptures to life. Each participant worked consistently over the whole four days, totally committed to their project, ensuring it communicated their ideas to the viewer.
Modelling from cardboard
Sculpture is not easy, and to take an idea from concept into 3D is a great challenge, especially with unfamiliar materials. Our group absolutely loved it. Frank, one of our participants, commented “Out of all the Accumulate workshops so far, hands down I’ve liked sculpture the most.’ It’s so great to hear feedback like this. Even more evidence of how far it is possible to go with a group of dedicated and fully engaged participants.
This February we have been so proud to partner with some amazing organisations, Levis, Youth Club Archive, Ravensbourne University London and Somerset House on our series of fashion workshops to coincide with London Fashion Week.
Accumulate participants wearing their Levi’s Jackets before the workshop
All of the participants are young people living in hostels or temporary accommodation across London. Youth Culture was the theme of this project, with expression through fashion being the aim. Our participants worked throughout the week on their creative skills. They customised the classic Levi’s denim Trucker jackets (the fashion icon of youth culture). The jackets were so kindly donated to the project by Levis UK – thank you! Customising, adorning and decorating the jackets created an extremely individual, unique and personal look and the results were phenomenal! It allowed the group to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences in a creative and visual way. At the end of each day of creativity we photographed the group outside the iconic buildings of Somerset House in Central London. We were so lucky to have renowned photographer Duncan Raban work with group, encouraging them to model their creations with confidence.
Former homeless artist David Tovey, helps Crystal on the Accumulate Levi’s workshop
Imania uses graffiti and personal statements to decorate her jacket
The Accumulate participants worked consistently over 5 days. They came to every workshop at 10am and finishing at 5pm, travelling across London to attend. This is a major indication of their sense of achievement, drive and ambition and really shows how much this project meant to them.
The finale to our week was a fashion shoot with Youth Club Archive at Printworks London in Surrey Quays. This amazing location has a real industrial edge, such a great backdrop to our shoot. Here our participants had the chance to be models and fashion photographers for the day! We we thrilled to welcome some amazing make artists from the London School of Media Makeup and the London School of Make Up to make the group feel glamorous for the shoot! Participants took turns modelling their customised jackets and photographing each other, practising their camera skills on set.
The group were really overwhelmed with what they had produced and achieved within such a short period of time. They were so proud of themselves, something that can often be denied to them because of their circumstances.
We could not have achieved this ambitious and successful project without the support and involvement of our partners and of course the amazing Accumulate participants.
Photo credit – Sabela Peinado – sabelapeinado.com
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/accuday4-59.jpg36485472Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2019-02-21 17:39:472019-04-01 06:35:24Accumulate Fashion Workshops – February 2019
With the new year came a big milestone for Accumulate! We celebrated five years of our project with an exhibition and party hosted by our great friends Briffa Legal. It was held at their offices in the Business Design Centre in Islington, coinciding with the London Art Fair. This was such a great opportunity to showcase our work over the years and show how far we have come!
Accumulate was set up in January 2014. We aim to use creativity and creative education to empower the lives of young people who are homeless and living in hostels and temporary accommodation. It began with one hostel in North London, and now we are working with six hostels across London. So far, 180 people have participated in our creative workshops!
Our workshops cover many creative mediums, from photography to fashion, from yoga to ceramics. We collaborate with London’s leading cultural institutions such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, Somerset House, The Tate, The Barbican and The BBC. At the end of our series of workshops, an exhibition is held to showcase our participant’s creative work produced in our workshops. We also give them the opportunity to sell their artwork. The profits from each piece are split between the artist so they can earn from their creativity and by Accumulate so we can continue to fund and deliver more creative workshops.
Our workshops are fulfilling, meaningful and engaging. We help our participants unlock their creative potential and learning abilities. In turn, this builds confidence and self-esteem, helping them believe in themselves more. They also create friendships within the group around their shared creative interests. All these skills help them to overcome their challenges helping them to navigate life, secure and remain in employment and enter education or training.
In 2016 Accumulate fundraised to enable us to award its first scholarships so participants could continue their creative education, studying on the Access to HE Diploma course in Design at Ravensbourne University London.
These scholarships enable people to achieve a university education, a goal that previously may have seemed impossible. By 2018, nine Accumulate participants had been awarded scholarships with two of them moving onto undergraduate courses.
The Accumulate project offers our participants the chance to unlock their potential, learn new skills, build resilience and self-identity. This is life-changing!
https://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1581.jpg18242736Marice Cumberhttps://accumulate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accumulate-Logo-2019.jpgMarice Cumber2019-01-30 11:46:172019-10-10 14:33:20Accumulate is 5!
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