Podcast Sound Judgement gives marginalised homeless community the chance to be heard

Aleesha Nejad.

Aleesha Nejad. - Credit: BENJAMIN PETERS 2018

An art school for the homeless has launched the UK’s first radio station run by young Londoners.

Maddy Syed and Tony Mitsinga at Soho Radio.

Maddy Syed and Tony Mitsinga at Soho Radio. - Credit: Ben Peters & Sam Holt

Students at Accumulate have been trained by industry experts with the technical skills needed to present, record and edit podcasts.

Their podcast series - Sound Judgement - includes music, stories, interviews and programmes on issues like mental health to education, giving the marginalised community a chance to be heard.

The group worked with guest speakers on content development, pitching and presentation skills and technical broadcast training. Accumulate founder Marice Cumber, who also founded the Crouch End Arts Festival said: "The more I researched the more I found out that it was often the non-homeless that were making films, TV, radio, photographs and so on about the homeless and this wierd hierarchy was happening with people who are homeless being the subjects rather than in control of telling their own stories.

"So it led me to think that Accumulate should try and overturn this and provide the training for young, homeless people to make and broadcast a series of podcasts about the subjects that are important to them and that's how this project came about."

Melina Sanchez from The Receipts podcast came to speak to the group. Pictured are Shahab Mernami, M

Melina Sanchez from The Receipts podcast came to speak to the group. Pictured are Shahab Mernami, Melina Sanchez, Nikol Dchan, Aleesha Nejad, Tony Mitsinga, Maddy Sayed, Jamilla Ford White, Jack Brown, Natalie Orchard, Marice Cumber. - Credit: Ben Peters & Sam Holt


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It proved to be a "real learning journey for everyone".

"Podcasting and audio aren't often thought of as a 'personal skills building activity' but it really was," said Marice.

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"The group gained confidence, project management and communication skills, self- esteem and identity - skills that are all really important in life and help you plan and progress.

"They also, obviously, gained technical and digital skills but most importantly they gained friends and a creative community."

Maddy Syed and Tony Mitsinga at Soho Radio

Maddy Syed and Tony Mitsinga at Soho Radio - Credit: Archant

"It has been amazing to see how far this group have come since our first taster sessions in the hostels to now when our group are pitching their subject ideas to industry professionals."

They worked closely with tutors at Ravensbourne University London on branding and visualisation and Milena Sanchez from the award-winning podcast, The Receipts, gave a talk encouraging them to use their own voice and talk about the things that matter to them.

Accumulate is now looking to create a news service podcast that will be run by people affected by homelessness and will provide updates on activities, training and support available to the homeless community.

Listen to the six podcasts at www.mixcloud.com/Accumulate/.

Axel Kacoutie (works at Guardian and is composer and sound designer of the Guardian's Today in Focus

Axel Kacoutie (works at Guardian and is composer and sound designer of the Guardian's Today in Focus podcast) and Ade Bamgbala - runs Blacticulate project. The Accumulate participants pitched their podcast ideas to them) - Credit: Ben Peters & Sam Holt.

Alesha Nejad and ? (We don't know who he is as he only came once!)

Alesha Nejad and ? (We don't know who he is as he only came once!) - Credit: Archant

Phil Olunnigi.

Phil Olunnigi. - Credit: Ben Peters & Sam Holt.

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