Design Bridge London partners with Accumulate, The Art School For The Homeless

  • London
  • May 17, 2022
By Amanda Li

Established in 2014, Accumulate is The Art School For The Homeless, providing higher-level creative education and empowerment for people affected by homelessness.

Accumulate works with hostels and housing organisations to deliver learning experiences in art, photography, creative writing, audio-visual production, and other creative disciplines.

Their program supports people on the margins of society and enables them to increase their confidence, skills, and self-value, which in the longer term, facilitates them onto their journey into training, education, and employment. Its goal is to expand activities and relationships across the UK to provide creative learning and opportunities for all of those most in need.

Our DB London studio has been working with Accumulate for five months now and will continue to mentor and support their program throughout the year alongside our partner agencies, including McCann and Hawkins/Brown.

In April, our London Studio hosted one of these mentoring sessions, bringing everyone in-house to give a little glimpse into life in the studio. The afternoon started at our Café, where we kicked off with our very own Simren Degun (Designer) and Victor Amoda (Junior Motion Designer) who both gave the guests an insight into a day in their life at DB, as well as their creative journeys.

Victor Amoda creative journey

Sara Kalen, our Senior Designer, then took us on a journey of inspiration and creativity by highlighting free and pragmatic resources for emerging talent, including leading London galleries like the Whitechapel Gallery, upcoming art festivals, and online communities for collaboration and connection (such as Creative Lives In Progress) — amongst others.

Sara Kalen, Senior Designer
Mentoring sessions

We, of course, had to highlight D and AD Shift with our very own Ellen Walpole (Junior Designer). Shift is a fully funded, industry-led night school programme for new creatives over 18 and without a degree-level qualification. Shift creates an accessible space for self-made talent to learn from and connect with the industry, establish a network and find job opportunities. Ellen shared her unconventional journey into the industry with our guests, which you can read more about here.

Ellen Walpole Junior Designer

We then paired up and had our one-on-one mentoring sessions—ensuring that each mentee had the right individual support for their own pathways.

Mentoring sessions
Mentoring session
Mentoring session

And to end the day off, our guests also got a Studio tour around the London building, giving everyone the chance to meet the different teams that make up our people at Design Bridge.

Accumulate at DB London

"At DB we want to keep challenging the idea that the industry’s next generation of talent has to come from the well-trodden university pathways.

So, we are carving time and space to share our own journeys into the industry with others. By opening our doors, we want to make the industry feel more accessible and welcoming than ever before.

Our designers are keen to change the conversation from the ground up, especially those of us with underrepresented or unconventional stories in the industry. We look forward to pushing this forward with energy and momentum."

— Yvonne Eng-Hall, Design Director

We’re incredibly honored to be a part of this initiative that helps emerging talent build their skills, develop their well-being, and improve their lives through creativity. If you want to learn more about Accumulate (or even get involved!), then you can visit their website here or purchase their very first graphic novel created by homeless people, The Book of Homelessness here.