Darius Malik and his wonderful talk to Accumul8


Darius Malik brilliantly gave his time to talk to the residents at the YMCA about his career, but most importantly, how he changed his life from being a serial offender, in prison from the age of 14 to 22, to a successful music manager. This talk came about after I emailed the mailing list from The Crouch End Festival and his PA, Olivia Rosen, responded.

This is the letter I wrote to Darius afterwards, it was a truly memorable talk and the residents and I learnt so much about overcoming adversity and making something of your life.

Dear Darius,

I want to personally thank you for the inspiring and motivating talk you gave to the residents at the North London YMCA Hostel about your personal journey.

Your ability and natural gift to capture an audience’s attention, connect with them and enable them to relate, understand and learn from your experiences meant that the residents related to you and your story and got such a lot from your talk.

The transitions you have made and the achievements you have realised are a testament to you as an individual and showed the audience that they too can overcome their own challenges through ambition, self belief and drive. The way you communicated this meant that everyone listened to you and could not fail to be inspired, your talk made such a difference to them and their lives and they all took something positive from it.

Thankyou again for giving your time and knowledge, it meant so much to everyone,

Best wishes,

Marice Cumber

Accumul8 – the start of a journey to change the world through chutney

So, Accumul8 has been going since 22nd August, and it all started off when the local YMCA approached The Crouch End Festival with the idea of creating links between the YMCA hostel residents and the creative people of the area (of which we have many!).

A poster went up at the hostel about learning how to set up a creative business. At the first meeting, about 20 residents turned up to listen and find out what this was all about. It went well, albeit with a few hiccups, and then on to meeting number two etc. and the project was born!

So, the residents decided on their name for their project – Accumul8, as the 20 reduced to 8 regular attendees, they live in N8 and as they say, you have to speculate to accumulate.

And here is a summary of what Accumul8 is all about (the formal version):

Accumul8 helps the residents at the YMCA hostel (who are long term unemployed and often disenfranchised from the community) gain employment skills, increase their confidence and return to the workplace. The residents attend weekly training and workshops on setting up their own creative business and are also working towards an exhibition of their creative work at The Crouch End Festival in June.
The residents are raising their own funding to pay for their exhibition, which is all part of their learning process. They are doing this by making jams and chutneys and baking and selling cakes for sale at craft fairs etc.,
Alongside knowledge acquisition and  the intended income generation aspect of selling the jams and chutneys, the residents are really working well together and look forward to every week’s cooking session.
The Accumul8 project engages and upskills the residents and gives them confidence, self-management skills, business training, discipline, independence and employability.
Ok, formal bit over, suffice to say, that I absolutely love this project and am enjoying every minute of it. Truly, you can change people’s lives through chutney!