Accumul8 is the social enterprise set up to help vulnerable young homeless people in London through creativity. The project has now grown from its Crouch End roots and spread across the capital, working with individuals in the North, East and South.
Through the YMCA hostels and Evolve Housing in South London, Accumul8 works with the homeless residents who make, market and sell jams and preserves – made from surplus fruit donated by the local community – to raise funds for photographic practice, which ultimately culminates in their own exhibition at The Guardian, Kings Place from July 15th 2016.
The enterprise helps residents to build their skills set, develop confidence and wellbeing and improve their lives. Recent participants have gone on to gain employment, come off benefits, take up training opportunities, move out of hostels into independent accommodation and get back in contact with their families.
Tutored by one of the UK art scene’s most exciting visual artists, Othello De’Souza-Hartley the residents have enjoyed access to photograph in venues, with people and in places normally inaccessible to them.
Highlights on the project this year include attending London Fashion Week, being featured in Vogue, tweeted about by Tinie Tempah, being part of the current exhibition at The Barbican – The Strange and The Familiar – photographing a band session at The Roundhouse and creating a social media storm with the lead backing dancer from Little Mix!
A supporter since the inception of Accumul8, Ravensbourne College provides valuable educational links. The students have assisted the residents in developing their photography skills challenging their comfort zones, crossing boundaries and meeting new people.
The best of the diverse imagery created will be on display at Kings Place this Summer. Luke Dodd, Curator of The Kings Place space together with Brett Rodgers OBE, Director of the Photographers Gallery will be curating the exhibition and choosing the best photographs for display.
Brett Rodgers OBE is thrilled to be involved with the project and said “ It was a pleasure to be part of it.
Some of the work was very impressive – and demonstrated how photography can support the confidence and skills of young homeless people.”
The residents displaying their work in the exhibition come from difficult, often complicated and diverse backgrounds. By learning control and creative expression through photography, the residents have developed their self-esteem and sense of self worth, blossoming into young creatives with a profound, challenging perspective on modern life in London.
This year Accumul8 are offering one participant a scholarship to study at Ravensbourne on the year long Access to HE Digital Media course. This scholarship will mean that one person will have all their fees paid and have the support of a Ravensbourne student buddy to help them really make the most of this opportunity. The winner of the scholarship will be announced at the exhibition on 14th July.