Learning and sharing photography skills and making new friends as well.

Learning new skills is just one aspect of the Accumul8 photography workshops, yes – the main focus is learning about photography, but other stuff happens – which is just as exciting, rewarding and nourishing as the excitement of taking great photographs. Friendships are made between groups of young people that would not have met before, social skills are built and new places and parts of London are discovered and visited that include its museums and galleries. To have over 50 young people energised to visit a museum and feel comfortable in it is a serious accomplishment, no longer do these places seem out of bound or not for them. So far, we have had Accumul8 workshops at Tate Modern, Somerset House, The Barbican and Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery in Southwark.  Along with learning photography techniques, the Accumul8 group have had talks from practising photographers about their work and their careers, visited exhibitions and also overcome personal challenges to ask strangers to have their portraits taken. All part of their learning and opening up to new opportunities, wherever they may be.

Learning and sharing photography skills

Learning and sharing photography skills


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.


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

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 around 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.

DECAY zine cover

Cos People Get Scared

Cos People Get Scared














Many many huge thanks to the ever so creative and brilliant Brian Baderman for leading the workshops 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.


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

Accumulate Scholarship winners Luke and Jay with Linda Drew, Head of Ravensbourne College



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:

  • Free entry to a Bar Wotever event

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.


Accumul8 starts a Zine project

Accumul8 is busy planning a brand new exciting creative project for the residents living at the North London YMCA Hostel in Crouch End to take part in. Our plan is to make zines, so hand made magazines using drawings, illustrations and stories created by the residents that will be used for the content for the zines, which will be then designed up and printed. We aim to produce beautifully designed and printed editions which will be made available at venues and shops in Crouch End and so showcase the amount of amazing creative talent that exists amongst the young people living at the hostel. First task, though, is to think of the name of the zine  – as soon as we know we’ll let you know!


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!


YMCA resident finds success

Accumul8_036-1-471x705-200x300Sam Adesanya, one of the homeless young people at the North London YMCA, has found success – and he is now getting ready for a photography exhibition set to open later this week, which includes several pieces of his work. Sam Adesanya will be showing some of his photographs at the Accumul8 photography exhibition, which opens at The Guardian offices in Kings Cross, starting July 14th. You can read about Sam’s success in this article in the Ham & High newspaper.

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