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!


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!

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!!



Photography workshops and London Fashion Week

So it’s now March 2016, and we are half way through delivering the series of photography workshops to young homeless people living in hostels across London.

Three hostels are involved: the North London YMCA Hostel, the East London YMCA Hostel and the group of Evolve hostels in south London.

Networking between Ravensbourne photography students and hostel residents

Networking between Ravensbourne photography students and hostel residents

Feeling the benefits

Working with multiple hostels has been a really positive experience, with friendships and links being formed between the hostel residents and also between them and the student helpers. Connecting the students and residents has been a hugely positive result, they are two groups of young people who wouldn’t have met otherwise. Barriers have been broken down and new connections have been made.






A couple of cool dudes, street photo taken by Dan Fifield, resident at Evolve Hostel.

A couple of cool dudes, street photo taken by Dan Fifield, resident at Evolve Hostel.

A new week, a new topic…

Every week on the project we have tackled a different subject matter as a theme for the photography workshop, including portraits, street photography, performance and identity.

Getting out and about

We have run a workshop with the Barbican to tie into their upcoming “Strange and Familiar” exhibition and also have used the experience of visiting Tate Museum and seeing the “Performing for the Camera” show as inspiration for more creative photography and image making.

A highlight, so far, has been the London Fashion Week workshop. This started with a talk about the impact of fashion blogs, how to set up in the industry from young, fashion designer Lamula Nassuna. There was also a talk by Ruba Harounni (who runs social enterprise Birdsong London) about how fashion can empower individuals.


Isaac, in the grey sweatsuit, taking a photo of Tinie Tempeh at London Fashion Week which featured in Vogue.

Isaac, in the grey sweatsuit, taking a photo of Tinie Tempeh at London Fashion Week which featured in Vogue.

Our intrepid fledgling photographers then went on to take photographs all around the LFW headquarters on Brewer Street. They enjoyed observing all the flamboyant individuals and even got the chance to snap rap star and singer Tinie Tempah! This got Isaac, from East London YMCA Hostel, into Vogue. Check out that retweet here

Black is back at London Fashion Week

Black is back at London Fashion Week







Red and White at London Fashion Week

Red and White at London Fashion Week

Shady at London Fashion Week

Shady at London Fashion Week


2016 and we’re ready to go!

We’ve achieved so much in 2015- and there’s lots to look forward to in 2016.

We held a photography exhibition at Hornsey Town Hall, which surpassed all expectations:A Private View which was buzzing with appreciative public, press and our photographers, who got lots of networking done, and were delighted with the response to their work.

We were featured in The Guardian and on London Tonight, won an award from the Prime Minister.  We even found time to produce a calendar for 2016 for Alexandra Palace.

We still produced (and sold out of) lots of preserves, which means we now have funds for Accumul8 2016. And we managed to enjoy it all!

What’s even better is that all the participants in Accumul8 2015 have moved on to a more positive journey in their lives, including coming off of benefits, finding employment, getting back in touch with family, starting a training course and moving out of the hostel. And this is what Accumul8 is truly about – using creativity to build the confidence and sense of well-being to allow people to move forward, develop skills and feel better about themselves and their lives.

We are now just about to start the Accumul8 2016 Photography Workshops. This year, we will be working with three hostels for homeless people, in North, East and South London. So Accumul8 is now Pan London! 10 students have been recruited from Ravensbourne to help deliver the photography workshops and facilitate photography tutor supremo Othello De’Souza Hartley, and we have some AMAAAAAAZING partners on board including (SUPER DRUM  ROLL!!!) The Photographers’ Gallery, The Roundhouse, The Barbican, Birdsong London and of course, the wonderful Ravensbourne. Thank you to all of them for helping make Accumul8 happen!