Celebrating its fifth birthday this year, the charity Accumulate has helped hundreds of young homeless Londoners through a program of creative workshops culminating in an annual exhibition

The Accumulate workshops take place within the walls of renowned institutions such at The Tate Modern, Somerset House, The Barbican and the V&A.

Long term homeless residents from hostels across the capital are invited along to take part in a variety of creative activities: photography sessions, pottery workshops and creative writing classes run by an army of professional creative tutors.

The Accumulate team help mentor, direct and inspire those on the course, encouraging them to express themselves, interact with others and support each other during the process.

The charity also helps source and fund scholarships for talented individuals to go onto Ravensbourne, a specialist higher education institution for the creative industries. Six Accumulate graduates have now attended Ravensbourne to complete a digital access course with some individuals progressing onto degree courses.

Creativity has long been associated with having a positive and valuable impact on mental health and overall wellness.  It can give an individual more energy and improve a person’s outlook, helping them to see possibilities and opportunities all around them.

By attending the Accumulate weekly creative sessions it is clear to see the positive impact on the participants. Often with a renewed focus and sense of purpose, some individuals have reconnected with their families, reengaged with education, found their own accommodation and have begun to move on positively with their lives.

The project was founded by Marice Cumber who has a background in creative education and has also run a design business. Initially drawn to help her local homeless community she is delighted with how much the charity has grown in such a short space of time;

Homelessness is a complicated and challenging issue and we don’t pretend to solve everyone’s problems by offering our course. But what we do provide is a creative outlet, a structure to someone’s week, an opportunity to do something different and perhaps change their sense of perspective, help rebuild their self-esteem and sense of worth.

"Ultimately it is my aim one day to provide a creative space for these young people to get together and engage in creative activities, support each other and generally reap the holistic benefits of creative expression.”

There are many ways to help – you could donate to buy a homeless person lunch, a travel card to get to a workshop session or pledge fruit for all! Simply log on Pledges by Paypal take less than 2 minutes.

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