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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Accumul8 at Utopia Fair at Somerset House

Accumul8’s director Marice Cumber spent last weekend at the wonderful Utopia Fair at Somerset House. The Utopia Fair was all about showcasing community projects and initiatives that work towards ideal principles and creating a better world. These projects were based around energy, surplus food, well-being, recycling, climate change, society and engaging the disenfranchised. All showed how people can really make a difference with small actions, passion and persistence to change the negative, and enable community action towards a positive outcome.

It was really rewarding and refreshing to be around so much positive energy and in such an uplifting environment – especially at the beautiful Somerset House! Accumul8 were there with our delicious Preserves with a Purpose – using surplus fruit to make jams and chutneys that we sell to raise funds for creative activities for young people living in hostels. We had a great time and it was so rewarding being able to meet and talk to so many people about the work we do. Here is Accumul8’s director, Marice Cumber, at the Utopia Fair – just look at that range of Accumul8 preserves!

Marice selling Accumul8 Preserves with a Purpose at the Utopia Fair

Marice selling Accumul8 Preserves with a Purpose at the Utopia Fair


Accumul8 at Somerset House

This coming weekend, 24 – 26 June, we will be at The Utopia Fair at Somerset House, Charing Cross, London. The Utopia Fair is a celebration of 25 different projects that have been selected to showcase their work in creating their own Utopia and ideal world, whether through food, fashion, recycling or arts and crafts.

So as Accumul8’s Preserves with a Purpose are made from surplus fruit and are sold to raise money for creative activities for young people living in hostels, we tick quite a few of the Utopia boxes, well, we try our best too!

At the Utopia Fair, we will be selling good old favourites such as Apple Pie Jam, Pear and Vanilla Jam and Nectarine and Amaretto Jam plus lots of new flavours including Green Coriander Chutney, Aubergine Pickle, Peach, Lemon and Almond Jam and Plum and Brandy Jam. Yum, yum, yum.



Moving Forward exhibition

The Accumul8 “Moving Forward” exhibition will showcase the photographs of 11 amazing young people, who are living in hostels across London, and who took part in this year’s Accumul8 photography workshops.

The exhibition takes place at The Guardian, in Kings Cross, and the private view will be an opportunity to see the striking images, meet the photographers and talk to them about their work and experience of attending the Accumul8 project. This year we have created the Accumul8 Scholarship, sponsored by BOP Consulting, to pay for an Accumul8 participant to study on the one year digital media and photography course at Ravensbourne, the scholarship will be awarded on the night of the private view.

If you would like to attend the Moving Forward exhibition private view, please register via this link 

Hope to see you there!


The Accumul8 scholarship to study Digital Media at Ravensbourne

Accumul8 is all about helping young people living in hostels move forward positively with their lives by using creativity to increase their sense of self, well-being and confidence. That positive move can be something personal, like getting back in contact with family or just making sure to leave the hostel every day, or something tangible like starting a course at college, getting some vocational training or finding a job.

Sam from Accumul8 chats with a motion graphics degree student from Ravembsourne

Sam from Accumul8 chats with a motion graphics degree student from Ravensbourne

Accumul8 is also about making opportunities happen, and this year we are really excited as we are going to be offering one Accumul8 participant a scholarship to study at Ravensbourne on the year long Access to HE Digital Media course. This scholarship will mean that one person, who may not have thought that they would be able to afford to go to university, will have all their fees paid and have the support of a Ravensbourne student buddy, who has helped on the Accumul8 workshops and so is familiar to them, to help them really make the most of this opportunity. BOP Consulting, a creative and cultural industry research consultancy, are very generously part-funding the scholarship and are also offering a work placement and mentor to the recipient as part of this offer. Huge Accumul8 thanks are due to them!

The Accumul8 scholarship will be awarded at this year’s Accumul8 exhibition which will be at The Guardian, Kings Place, London N1 from 14 – 31st July, open from 10 – 6 daily.



Preparing for the Accumul8 Photography Exhibition

This week was the start of the big journey towards the grand Accumul8 exhibition at The Guardian, opening on July

Starting the selection process

Starting the selection process


And what a week it was! We started and completed the selection process of the photographs that have made the grade and will be shown. We also were able to celebrate and congratulate all the young people who had participated in the Accumul8 project on their achievements so far.

We were really privileged to have Luke Dodd, curator of The Guardian space, and Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery, make the big decisions as to what will be shown and to also hear from the real professionals about why they were making specific choices and why certain images were worthy of being exhibited. Both Luke and Brett were really impressed by the work and Luke spent considerable time afterwards talking to the Accumul8 participants about their individual photographs, their talent and their potential to take their photography further.

Luke and Brett curating the images that will be shown at the Accumul8 exhibition

Luke and Brett curating the images that will be shown at the Accumul8 exhibition

This was very timely, as this year, for the first time, Accumul8 will be awarding one, very lucky, Accumul8 participant a scholarship to study on the Access to HE Diploma in Creative and Digital Media at Ravensbourne. The Accumul8 scholarship will cover their fees, plus there is also the possibility of having their laptop and camera paid for as well. Our thanks go to Burns Owen Partnership for supporting the Accumul8 Scholarship.
The goal is eventually, for the recipient of the Accumul8 scholarship to then become an Accumul8 workshop assistant and role model for future participants of the Accumul8 creativity project for young, homeless people. It’s a case of education changing lives, creating new futures and good, old reciprocity.


The Accumul8 group get to see what of their work has been chosen for the exhibition.

The Accumul8 group get to see which pieces of their work have been chosen for the exhibition.

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The Accumul8 group on top of Primrose Hill


Markets, locks and hills

For the final photography session of this series of workshops the Accumul8 group visited Camden, exploring the markets, walking beside the canal and ending up at the top of Parliament Hill. This was the first year that Accumul8 has worked with three hostels and over such a long period of time (this week was the 20th session). It has been an incredible journey of learning and skills development. But more amazing is to watch the participants becoming more confident with themselves, with newly found self-esteem and a sense of well-being, that goes far beyond the actual activity. This will, hopefully, help them to make their own positive life decisions. It’s been a blast!

Pic below: students, residents and workshop leaders having fun

Ravensbourne students, Accumul8 participants and workshop leaders having fun













Countdown to the Accumul8 exhibition

selection2choosing photos for exhibitionThis week we started to select the photographs for the Accumul8 exhibition at The Guardian headquarters in King’s Cross. It was wonderful seeing the participants’ confidence grow as they realised that they had a collection of images that were worthy of being in a public exhibition and were making and understanding choices as to what is a great picture. ‪#‎OthellodeSouzaHartley‬ and ‪#‎SteveFranck‬ did a great job with the first edit, the next edit for the show will be with curators from ‪#‎TheGuardian‬ and ‪#‎ThePhotographersGallery‬.

Photos: Jamila gives her photo selection the thumbs-up!

Jamila gives her photo selection the thumbs-up!

Thanks for the retweet, Tinie Tempah!

Isaac is one of the young homeless people who attended the photography workshop – and took a photo of Tinie Tempah. How delighted was he when the rapper and singer himself retweeted the image.

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Accumul8 and Birdsong London at London Fashion Week

When Accumul8 did the London Fashion Week project, Birdsong London came along too to talk to the group about their own social enterprise.

Birdsong is a project which sells fashion products made by women’s groups which actively work to improve women’s lives. The meeting of the two groups was also a way to introduce the issues surrounding women, fashion, identity and empowerment.


The talk went down a storm, and the group were so interested in what founder Ruba Huleihel had to say, that they asked her to stay on and carry on talking after the photography workshop was finished. Check out their blog about Accumul8. Thanks to Ruba of Birdsong for being so brilliant and inspiring!!