Tag Archive for: Crouch End

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!


Helping others to help themselves.

Summer has been and gone, and we are now leading up to the end of the year and all the frenzy that goes with it. For Accumul8 that means one major creative activity – the making and selling of the Accumul8 Preserves with a Purpose, which we make from surplus fruit donated by the community and then sell to raise money for Accumul8 to continue to do the good work that it does.

There is one chief preserve maker at the hostel, Levi, who helps every week to make the Accumul8 jams and chutneys. I am proud to say that Levi is paid by Accumul8, but even more proud that Levi now feels valued and is incentivised by the project and wants to build a future for himself.

He’s pictured helping to label the Accumul8 jams and chutneys, the “Preserves with a Purpose.”

Recently, Accumul8 were very kindly given space at Spitalfields Art Market to sell photographs taken by our group of photographers (who have been affected by homelessness) and who participated in this year’s workshops. It is always good to connect with the public and talk about our work and what we set out to achieve. It’s even better when the participants do this, it’s amazing for them to see their work on display, but even more so when they do the talking and selling as the reward goes far beyond the sale.

Sam talks to the public about his photographs, Spitalfields Art Market: October 2015

Sam talks to the public about his photographs, Spitalfields Art Market: October 2015

Sometimes, there are community heroes that want to help Accumul8. Sometimes it’s people that have some time or skills to share, or people living locally that have surplus fruit that they want to donate for the jams and chutneys, they are all very lovely and very appreciated (it would be impossible to run Accumul8 without this type of help) and my thanks to them is extensive. But today, my special thanks goes to a new business In Crouch End, Burgers@N8, a business that has decided to support Accumul8 and show that you can run a business, do good in the community and succeed! They are truly very lovely indeed and deserve every success. Thank you Burgers@N8 – we love you!x


This burger supports Accumul8!

The start of a new season

We have now started the Accumul8 season of photography workshops at the North London YMCA hostel, which will end with an exhibition of the hostel residents’ photographs at the Crouch End Festival in June.

Digital photography is a really effective creative medium to engage and inspire the residents. It allows them to explore and use their creativity, in a very non-judgmental way, but more importantly, puts them in charge and by doing so, increases their confidence, communication skills and sense of well-being. Also digital photography is instant and an activity that everyone can participate in, experiment with and enjoy.

This year, we are again working with Ravensbourne, the college that I work at, who have partnered with Accumul8 – thank you James and Lucy. The students on the access course will be assisting the photographer, Othello deSouza Hartley, who is leading the tuition for the sessions. What is special this year is that the residents will receive a university certificate in digital media (level 2) at the end of the project. This is going to be something very significant, as the residents have often not only suffered from destructive pasts that has triggered their homelessness, but also from poor and fragmented education which has hampered their abilities to progress into employment or other training. Hopefully, the Accumul8 project can inspire them to reconnect with education, relish their achievements and help them on their journey to a better future.

The photo shows Sylwia, an access student at Ravensbourne, helping TJ, a resident at the YMCA hostel, to understand about composition and framing an image.

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Also, this week we are super proud to launch the Accumul8 Community Jam page on our website. This is a page where the community can participate and donate to the Accumul8 project by donating a preserves recipe. (Accumul8 and the residents make and sell preserves with surplus fruit to help pay for the Accumul8 creative workshops at the hostel). The aim of the Accumul8 Community Jam page is to help build awareness of Accumul8 and the work it does and hopefully, inspires a new audience to learn about sustainability, creativity, homelessness and the community.

We are even more proud that so many celebrity chefs and food writers have donated their preserves recipes to Accumul8. Talented, creative figures such as Yotam Ottolenghi, Mark Hix, Dan Doherty, Matthew Fort, Marjorie Paulson, Thane Prince, Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall, Pam Corbin, Sarah Randell, Valentine Warner, Olia Hercules, Ghillie James, Vivien Lloyd. Many thanks to all of them. Please donate your preserve recipe too and be part of Accumul8’s work to help the homeless get a better future.

The season begins

So, after a summer break, it’s back to the Accumul8 jam and chutney production line. What’s even better this time round is we were successful in our crowdfunding activities via We Are Yimby and Harris and Hoole. We secured a whopping £800 in donations to help us on our way. Thank you to everyone who donated, it was very humbling to see how many people wanted to support Accumul8. The money raised meant that we could buy a lovely new kitchen equipment and new jam jars for this year’s batch of produce.

Here are Sofia and Sam proudly modelling one of the newly purchased aprons while peeling and chopping the apples donated by the community. And very fetching they look too!

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The lovely people at We are Yimby even wrote Accumul8 a postcard as they also had reached one of their goals (slightly more than ours, but never mind….)

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Accumul8’s selling season will soon be in full swing with the lead up to the festive season and our aim is to double production and sales from last year. We have already started and may even have some good news to share in the not too distant future…..Meanwhile if you have apple trees and can spare any fruit then please do let us know as we need every piece going! And if you like drinking wine, then please support us via Bottle Apostle in Crouch End.

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The Accumul8 wines on sale at Bottle Apostle. Every time one is bought, money goes to Accumul8.

And here is a lovely smiling face to end this blog piece on.

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Accumul8 Happy Snappers!

Sanchez Palmer and Robyn Slater from Ravensbourne have now become involved with Accumul8.

Sanchez and Robyn are both digital photography students at the college and are keen to pass on their photographic skills and knowledge to the Accumul8 group of residents at the YMCA. In reverse, the Accumul8 project is giving them valuable skills and experiences that they can use in future employment opportunities, especially as they both want to get involved in education related careers once they leave college. Ravensbourne is supporting this project as part of its outreach work and as a way of building links with the wider community. So, everyone wins and thanks to everyone for getting involved!

This week the Accumul8 group experimented with different types of photographic lighting, got to try out DSLR cameras and were given their own digital cameras to start to take images so that they can build up a portfolio of work. We also went to see the Crouch End London Independent Photography group exhibition at Hornsey Library where the lovely Liz Brown gave us a tour and talked about the work on show.

It’s amazing what good can be achieved when people get together, we all just need the opportunity to get involved! Roll on next week’s session which Robyn and Sanchez will be leading themselves.


Robyn explaining about lighting to the Accumul8 group.


Sanchez shows how to get a good shot


The Accumul8 group get their own cameras with Sanchez grinning like a proud parent!

The church and chutneys.

Once the North London YMCA residents took on the challenge of raising their own money for an exhibition of their creative work and decided that making and selling chutneys would be the answer, we needed to find a kitchen that would allow us weekly access and be supportive of what we wanted to do.

The Holy Innocents Church on Tottenham Lane in Crouch End came up trumps.

We used their kitchen on Fridays and, even though it was small, it became the epicentre of our chutney empire and many a good chutney was concocted there! The YMCA staff and church employees that work at the church would pop their heads round the kitchen door and ask us about the week’s recipe and what we were cooking. The place was full of the spicy and sweet smells of Accumul8’s chutneys and it was the start of the Accumul8 chutney journey.

This morning, it came full circle and I went to sell the Accumul8 chutneys at the church. Father Tim and the Holy Innocents community loved the chutneys and most of all, what was great was to get such a positive response to the project and the work it does.

Thankyou Holy Innocents Church for being so supportive and enthusiastic about Accumul8 and we hope you enjoy your chutneys!

The Earl Haig Hall comes up trumps!

Twitter is a strange beast sometimes, and sometimes you get that little asterisk on that little blue birdy and it turns into something lovely.

The Earl Haig Hall on Elder Avenue, Crouch End, is about to reopen as a social club and they want to sell Accumul8 chutneys and jams. What’s more they have brilliantly offered to be the Accumul8 Jam Jar Drop Off Point.

So please bring your empty jam jars  (we’d love it more is they are washed and without labels) to the Earl Haig Hall Jam Jar Drop Off Point any day from 31.10 (which is their grand opening) from 4pm.





Branding, MP’s in a pub and an apple education.

On Thursday evening, the wonderful James Bridgman, who is a fellow co-director of The Crouch End Festival, came and met with Accumul8 attendees at the YMCA to help work out the branding and identity for the project. It was really interesting to discuss the “personality” of Accumul8, the message we wanted to convey and how we wanted to communicate that visually with our audience.

So, after an evening of looking and comparing various looks for the Accumul8 brand, we can now tick off the typeface, colours, text and image for our labels and, eventual, website. Accumul8 even has a strapline now – “Preserves With A Purpose”, which is pretty neat I think! More work to do, but we are definitely on our way!

Friday was cook, cook, cook with 24 jars of apple. pear and lemon chutney being made. One of which was given to Lynne Featherstone, the local MP, who asked to meet with me to find out more about Accumul8 and how it is helping the YMCA residents gain skills, confidence and routes back into employment. As she said, “It’s a win, win, win project”. Indeed it is, thankyou to the ever supportive David Winskill who made this meeting happen. And most importantly, I found out that our local MP’s office is above The Three Compasses pub on Hornsey High Street – pints and politics for all?

And another great big thank you must go to Transition Crouch End and Urban Harvest who organised a really inspiring celebration of all things Apple at their Apple Day –  whoever thought I’d be so interested and obsessed with the number of things that you can do with apples… I came away from The Apple Day with a bounty of cooking apples and the opportunity to sell Accumul8’s chutneys and jams at their Green Christmas Fair on Saturday 30th November at Hornsey Vale Community Centre, Mayfield Road (as well as witnessing people attempting to peel the longest apple peel). Bumper bonus!