Advertisement - Content continues below
Art

Accumulate are sending 500 art kits a week to homeless people in London

The homeless art charity have had to put workshops on hold due to Covid-19, but that hasn’t stopped them from helping people express themselves

The coronavirus lockdown has not stopped homeless arts charity Accumulate from giving people on the margins the chance to get creative.

Dubbed “The Art School for the Homeless”, Accumulate had a busy year planned, with the first-ever radio station operated by homeless people and a graphic novel was also pencilled in, written by people on the streets telling their stories in their own words and images.

But the pandemic has seen the charity pivot to meet the arty needs of rough sleepers currently housed in hostels for their own protection from the virus. So far, with the help of Crisis funding, Accumulate has shipped out 500 art kits a week to individuals living in 31 different hostels and emergency accommodation.

Each art box features a themed project inside as well as all the materials needed, tasking people to turn an everyday object into a building, for example.

The art boxes have had a positive impact on mental health, says Accumulate’s Emma Carboni.

She told The Big Issue: “The project just keeps getting bigger and bigger with more and more hostels and individuals wanting to get involved. Some of the work they are creating is brilliant.”

Advertisement - Content continues below
Advertisement - Content continues below

The feedback from some of the people who have used the kits has also been positive.

One person told Accumulate: “The project is helping me so much with coping through the isolation.”

Another added: “It’s Christmas weekly during lockdown because of this charity.”

And a third person said: “I’ve grown so much as a person through this group and wanted to share on a wider scale to keep pushing for positive creativity.”

As for the Book of Homelessness graphic novel, the launch originally scheduled for next month may not be going ahead but online workshops are ongoing with all participants also taking part in the art kit project.

Podcast training via Skype and Zoom have also kept the radio station on air. Work is underway for ‘News for The Unconnected’ – a new podcast series focusing on support, information and wellbeing for people who are homeless during the pandemic.

To see instructions on how to get the most out of the art kits, including videos and a shared portal for people to share their work, head here.

Advertisement - Content continues below

Support your local vendor

Give your vendor a hand up and buy the magazine. Big Issue vendors are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. But, at the same time, they are micro-entrepreneurs. By supporting their business, you can help them overcome homelessness, financial instability and other social disadvantages that hold them back.

Recommended for you

Read All
Filmmaker Paul Sng: 'My new book shows diversity can make Britain stronger'
Art

Filmmaker Paul Sng: 'My new book shows diversity can make Britain stronger'

Get a limited edition print and original artwork from The Connor Brothers
Art

Get a limited edition print and original artwork from The Connor Brothers

The Connor Brothers: 'It's time to put away the bunting and get a new flag'
Art

The Connor Brothers: 'It's time to put away the bunting and get a new flag'

The London art studio offering asylum seekers and refugees freedom on a page
Art

The London art studio offering asylum seekers and refugees freedom on a page

Most Popular

Read All
More than 70 MPs back motion to stop ministers lying in parliament
1.

More than 70 MPs back motion to stop ministers lying in parliament

The Big Issue vendor who became London’s happiest bus driver is now bringing drinking water to Africa
2.

The Big Issue vendor who became London’s happiest bus driver is now bringing drinking water to Africa

Climate crisis laid bare as new map illustrates threat of rising sea levels
3.

Climate crisis laid bare as new map illustrates threat of rising sea levels

Shaun Ryder: 'It will always be one rule for them and another rule for us'
4.

Shaun Ryder: 'It will always be one rule for them and another rule for us'