Accumulate April Update!

April 2021 has been a busy month for Accumulate with some exciting new and continuing projects and good news for Accumulate!

Return to The Barbican

We were delighted to be able to return to the learning space at the Barbican Centre early in April to resume our face to face workshops after such a long time. We are equally delighted to have teamed up with the global creative design advertising association D&AD who provided one of their student briefs to design a promotional campaign for lego bricks for this series of workshops.

A new series of workshops began in April 2021

We were very grateful to have a great haul of lego donated to us to use for this project through the generosity of the team at the Barbican and D&AD. The local community in Crouch End were also a huge help donating bricks after a Facebook shout out! The group were so excited to see this mountain of lego and to take part in an Accumulate project that is completely new and different.

Using Lego bricks as our creative medium

 

Our aim on this project is the reverse the hierarchy, bringing top-level creative expertise, teaching and knowledge to people who wouldn’t normally be able to access it. Industry experts Giulio Mazzarini and Natalie Prout from Jones Knowles Ritchie joined us to talk the group through how strategy and creativity work in an advertising environment. We are also very excited to welcome industry speakers from leading creative agencies including Saboteur, GEM, Bullet Proof and We Are Social to join us on this project in the coming weeks to share their expertise and industry insights with Accumulate participants. This will be an amazing opportunity for our participants to gain access to this level of knowledge and also be able to showcase their talent and potential.

Joined by industry experts from JKR Global

At the end of this project in June, there will be an exhibition of the participants work along with three scholarships awarded to selected participants to attend Ravensbourne University! Watch this space!

Donation from Grand Matter

Illustration agency Grand Matter organised a fundraising drive for Accumulate with their super-talented illustrators designing a beautiful collection of blankets which were then sold to raise money for Accumulate. We are so thankful and humbled by this support. Even more so in that it has meant that we can now purchase tablets for the group working on the D&AD project we are currently running, so all our learners can digitise their own creative work. Huge thanks to all the team at Grand Matter.

Students digitise their creativity

Accumulate Art Kit workshops continue

Our Accumulate Art Kits project is still going strong. We ran an excellent ‘Train the Trainer’ session this month with the team from London architecture firm AHMM who put together and led a model making activity with a group of support workers from homeless hostels across the country.

Train the Trainer session with AHMM

This session was so well received by the group and they are now ready to run their own sessions with clients from the hostels they work in using the kits that we provide. We are so pleased to have AHMM join us, giving their time, expertise and support.

Accumulate in Positive News

We were very excited to see the graphic novel that we published last year, Book of Homelessness, featured in an article by Positive News! You can read the full article HERE. We had such a great response to the feature with a great surge of support. The money we have raised from the sales of our book has meant that we have been able to fund a scholarship for an Accumulate participant to attend Ravensbourne University to study on the Access to HE course in Design & Digital Media. As our founder, Marice Cumber told Positive News ‘This is a very special thing. It means that the creativity of a group of people affected by homelessness will support someone else who is homeless to change their lives through creative education.’

Feature in Positive News

Click HERE to read more about Book of Homelessness and purchase your own copy

 

Follow @Accumulate_Ldn on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook!

 

 

 

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Accumulate Art Kits are Expanding!

With funding secured from The National Lottery Community Fund and Foundation for FutureLondon we have been able to expand our Accumulate Art Kit offering to homeless hostels right across the United Kingdom.

Train the Trainer Sessions

To accompany the kits we have also been able to introduce ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions. These sessions, which are held via Zoom,  train support workers within the hostels so they can deliver their own creative workshops to their residents using the Accumulate Art Kits.

Our first ‘Train the Trainer’ session on Zoom

Our First Session

The first of these sessions was held in early March this year. Led by Claire Cheung and Emelie Helsen,  this session included how to deliver a workshop to a group, getting everyone involved and therefore building the support workers confidence to lead their own workshops. We have had really positive feedback from this first session with the hostel support workers sharing their experiences and learning with and from each other!

With this training in mind, hostels then delivered their own workshops to residents. The brief for this Art Kit was to create a cover of a magazine called ‘Emotion’.  ‘A magazine all about people and their feelings. The best covers are those that show a simple idea delivered in a bold and compelling way. Words and images will be combined to deliver your emotion.’  The artwork coming through is just incredible…..

 

Check out even more of these powerful artworks produced so far HERE on our Padlet page!

 

We have received the most wonderful and affirming feedback  from Sharon, a hostel support worker at P3 charity, who delivered the “Emotion Magazine Cover” art kit activity to residents at her hostel.

“The benefits have been wonderful, this will have been influenced by the cleverly designed first project.  The emotion magazine cover gave the clients an opportunity to explore their emotions and they all did this in different ways, it definitely turned into an art therapy session which the clients seemed to naturally turn it into and it was my pleasure to be part of the process.  For one particular client this project has been a bit of a lifeline, it has given him something to anchor to.  His mental health had been decreasing rapidly following a move to independent accommodation and his mental health was getting worse. He is very chaotic and it calmed him a little, gave him a focus to come back to and it has not just given him something positive to do but because I encouraged him to do happy as the emotion, whenever he picks up the project he thinks positively.

Another client picked an emotion he had felt in the past when he felt out of control and it was really useful for him to be able to explore this, as he was in a better place and he was able to process this from a distance, it then served as a reminder of the journey he has been on and how he has managed to overcome his emotions.  It also reminded him of how important all the little things that he had done to ensure he continues to look after his emotional health.

Another client has just lost his mum and the art work gave him the opportunity to talk through these very difficult feelings, this client can be very heightened, but the calmness that came over him whilst he was deciding what to do and playing with ideas was incredible.  He also had a lovely sense of achievement when he completed it.”

20 hostels are now taking part!

We are thrilled to have 20 hostels join us on this project, stretching far and wide from Cornwall to Kent! We are so happy this project can reach more people affected by homelessness find support and empowerment through the medium of creativity.

Our next session starts at the beginning of April working with our friends from Autograph and tutor Alejandra Carles-Tolra.

 

 

 

 

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Phenomenal response to Book of Homelessness!

An Amazing Response!

When Accumulate set out on The Book of Homelessness project we had no idea that the response to it, once published, would be so phenomenal! Sales have been so significant that we sold out of the first print run within 2 weeks and so have reprinted in double quick time!

The Book of Homeless

 

Life Changing

What’s even better is because sales are so high we are now able to fund a scholarship for an Accumulate participant to progress their creative education and study, fully funded, on the Access to Higher Education course at Ravensbourne University in London. It is truly wonderful that the creativity of people who are homeless will actually change another homeless person’s life through creative education.

 

Hear my Story

The stories in The Book of Homelessness are emotional, raw and direct. They tell the stories of people who have been forced to leave their homes, countries, relationships, families, care and prison. But they are also stories of hope, resilience and determination from people who are using their creativity to tell their own stories and to help change perceptions of what homelessness is.

Self Portrait by Ria Wallace

Sharing the profits

Profits from sales of The Book of Homelessness are shared with the Accumulate participants, so that they can earn money through their creativity, and Accumulate so that we can fund another scholarship to change a homeless person’s life and provide more creative workshops for people who are homeless.

Image and text by Mitchel Ceney

Press Response

The response from the press to The Book of Homelessness has been just as incredible and for that we have been so grateful, helping us spread the word far and wide. If you want to see what is being said about the Book of Homelessness is publications such as The Guardian, Big Issue and Creative Review pop over to out Press Coverage page on the website here.

 

BLM Statement

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.

Accumulate Art Kits – Update!

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 CrisisThe 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

Accumulate Art Kit complete with snacks for concentration!

Future Plans

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 marice@accumulate.org.uk 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

Creativity in the time of Coronavirus

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 vulnerability 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 to 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!

Art Challenges

Every week we gather together our group via WhatsApp 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…!”

Podcast Training

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 participant’s 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 an 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 to 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 that supports 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 to 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 the group, recording their experiences in this difficult time.

 

We will continue to share and celebrate all our group’s creativity over the weeks to come on social media. Please do follow along. Hoping to bring strength and support to our own creative community.

Stay safe

Accumulate x

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO JUDGEMENT

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.

Collaboration

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.

The Catwalk!

 

Photo credit – www.benpetersphoto.com

Radio Station for the Homeless

The First of its Kind!

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 participants 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. ‘It’s 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

 

Pitching & Presentation skills with Soho Radio’s Claire Lynch. Photo credit @benpetersphoto

 

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 from our first taster sessions to now when our group are pitching their subject ideas to industry professionals! Each member of the group’s 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.

Accumulate – The Art School 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!

Youth Culture – An Accumulate Exhibition

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)

Fashion Workshop

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 House and 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!

Customised denim jackets (Photo credit sabelapeinado.com)

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!

Shannon Stevenson Glowing Out Of Turn

Photo Credit Shannon Stevenson, Accumulate Participant

Sculpture Workshop

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)

Zine Making

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!