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 vulnerability 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 to 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.
Every week we gather together our group via WhatsApp 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.
It was amazing to have this feedback during one of our online challenges……one participant said ‘‘Creating takes my mind to a goooood place…!”
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 participant’s 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.
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 an 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 to 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 that supports 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.
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 to 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 the group, recording their experiences in this difficult time.
We will continue to share and celebrate all our group’s creativity over the weeks to come on social media. Please do follow along. Hoping to bring strength and support to our own creative community.