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The Book of Homelessness Launches!

The Book of Homelessness is the first ever graphic novel created by people affected by homelessness that tells the stories of their lives.

The book of homelessness cover

“This is a remarkable collection in any context. The fact that these beautiful, personal works are the expressions of our neighbours who are homeless makes it untenable to ignore them ever again.”
Colin Firth

Accumulate is really so very proud to say that The Book of Homelessness will be published on November 19th 2020 and is now available to purchase.

The Accumulate Book of Homelessness project started in January with a series of writing, drawing and illustration workshops that were held at the Autograph gallery in Shoreditch. These workshops enabled the Accumulate participants, who came from hostels, shelters and temporary accommodation, to explore their own narratives and build up the skills and confidence to communicate their stories and experiences visually and in the written form.


The group very quickly began to bond and form a community. Every single participant was eager to tell their story and how it affected who they were. The stories that they produced are personal, raw and honest. They are of pain, of abuse, of dysfunction, of families, of war, of rejection, of misplaced love, of overcoming difficulties and of fighting and succeeding.

Together these stories show the complexities of homelessness, what causes it and the struggles that people have undertaken.

The illustrations, photographs and words are sensitive and emotional.  They communicate the conflicts, loneliness and abandonment felt by the authors.


The Book of Homelessness is a powerful and beautiful book. It will be published, as a limited edition, on November 19th 2020 and can also be pre-ordered here.

All profits from sales of the book will be shared with its authors and Accumulate so it can continue to provide creative workshops for people who are homeless. We really hope that you can buy this book and be inspired by the stories, talents and integrity of the Accumulate participants.

Create Change Project

A Series of Workshops

September 2020 brought our newest collaboration, the Create Change Project, kindly funded and supported by the innovation foundation Nesta. With our base at Union Chapel in Islington we set up our ‘Art School for the Homeless’ pop up. This was our first face to face but socially distanced series of workshops to run since March and it was great to be back together again after so long.

Photo credit: Ben Peters

Climate Change

Our subject was Climate Change. We gathered as a group to collectively discuss the climate change crisis & it’s impact. Along with this we talked about the financial aspects of poverty & how it directly affects the choices you can make from an environmental point of view. We worked using art, illustration, poetry and creative writing, so many creative mediums to help to express opinons and points of view our group. Working with an amazing group of tutor Tori Taiwo, Williamz Omope and Liv Wynter, our group was able to form a creative community with the freedom to discuss ideas of how to create change.

Photo Credit: Ben Peters

 

Photo credit: Ben Peters

The incredible creative responses created by our group are currently being digitalised for an online exhibition that will be hosted on the Nesta website very soon. Watch this space!

A Creative Community

This series of workshops was a great opportunity for all our participants, some of whom this was their first taste of an Accumulate workshop, to really connect, support each other and find purpose. People who didn’t know each other have formed teams to work together with great energy & group dynamic. So proud of what we have created together!

Photo credit: Ben Peters

Huge thanks to Nesta and Union Chapel for your support.

 

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 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!

Art Challenges

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…!”

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 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.

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

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!

Sculpture Collaboration

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

Adding plaster

Finished Sculptures

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.

Photo credits: Sabela Peinado

 

 

Accumulate Fashion Workshops – February 2019

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

CREATIVE WORKSHOPS

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.

FASHION SHOOT

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

 

Accumulate Autumn 2018

We thought we had a busy Summer….well Autumn and up to end of 2018 has been jam packed!

V&A Photography Workshop and Exhibit

September saw a photography workshop collaboration with participants from Freedom from Torture. This charity supports people who have been through immeasurable suffering as victims of torture. It was amazing to see this group of people come together and support each other, learning new skills. A couple of weeks later the images these individuals had produced were proudly exhibited at the V & A museum. Was wonderful to see these smiling faces launching their own exhibit!

 

 

 

Edible Utopia

We took part in an absolutely fascinating workshop at Somerset House. So weird and wonderful and something completely different for our participants. Experimenting with different effects, they produced some stunning images of fungus. They just loved working on these technical aspects, capturing the astonishing forms of the mushrooms! We were thrilled that the images were used by Somerset House projected onto the wall of ‘The Deadhouse’ as part of World Fungus Day!

Jump Up!

We got together again with our friends at Youth Club Social, checking out their latest exhibition ‘Jump Up’ celebrating 50 years of Notting Hill Carnival. After being inspired by the amazing photography on display, our participants got creative designing their own Carnival backdrops!

 

 

 

 

One Festival of Homelessness Arts

This was our second year being involved in this incredible event founded and directed by our great friend the Artist David Tovey. A celebration of the works of art, in so many forms, created by artists who have or are experiencing homelessness. We had the privilege of exhibiting images from our photography workshops ‘Portraits and Potential’. This workshops involved participants from YMCA Walthamstow who had their images captured by Accumulate Tutor and visual artist Othello De Souza Hartley. Afterwards we gathered together to discuss what each person saw in their own portrait and then reflect & share their hopes for the future. Inspiring.

 

 

House of St Barnabas Art Hang

We were beyond delighted to see the work of the Accumulate Zine DECAY 3, produced back in the summer, exhibited on a large scale at the House of St Baranabas in Soho. Such a proud moment so see our stunning pieces exhibited in this incredible setting.

 

 

 

Latest Workshops

As the dark nights drew in, we worked with a new group from Broadwater Lodge. A hostel for families in North London. It was just wonderful to see this group have fun with creativity and learn new skills. We also rounded off the year with workshops with participants from YMCA North London and Evolve in Stockwell who were perfecting their technical skills.

 

 

Alexandra Palace

As a final creative project of 2018 we worked together with artist Cristina Otto on the incredible project at Alexandra Palace. This installation is on display in the new East Wing at the palace and it really is quite a sight!

 

 

 

Student Successes

We are beyond proud to see 2017 Scholarship winner continue his creative education, enrolling on the BA Advertising and Brand Design course at Ravensbourne University! Luke said “Thank you for all this and the opportunity. I am nervous as hell but very excited to start a new life.”

2018 student Nisha Zala was also accepted in the Access to Fashion course at Morley College. We are so excited for you Nisha!

 

 

 

 

 

Hello 2019!

2019 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for Accumulate…….thank you so much for following along, your support means the world to us.