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2013/14

IMPACT REPORT


“Performing at Club Soda was a great experience for our artists.” Joe , Club Soda

HEADLINES What we did in 2013/14

Message from our Board of Directors New has been the key word for us this year. We began the year with an exciting new radio project called Soda Stream on the brilliant Croydon Radio. In April we started a new live event showcasing musicians with learning disabilities called Soda Beat. We have also formed an impressive number of new partnerships with local and national organisations (Drunken Chorus, The Challenge, Mind, Mencap and Merton Council to name but a few). It is fair to say that the year has taken us in a new direction. We found new venues for our activities after deciding in 2012/13 that our work needed to be more visible in the local community. So, at the start of the year we began operating out of Matthews Yard, Bad Apple, Rockbottom and Beanies Café. Our lovely hosts have been nothing but accommodating and particular mention must go to Matthews Yard, which has fast become the go-to space for Croydon’s arts community since opening in April 2012. There are many highlights from the year, but in particular we would like to mention our collaborative project with Bensham Manor Post 16 students who produced a wonderful ‘takeover’ show on Soda Stream Radio; Big White Light’s improvised performance at Drunken Nights in October (Joe Soda’s lip- synching of the monster mash will live long in the memories of those who were there); The Carbonator’s stella performance at Soda Beat in March which was Richard Phoenix’s emotional final performance with the band; Caroline Soda’s raw spontaneity and natural humour on the weekly Soda Stream Radio show; and Michael Soda’s positive appearance on Channel 4’s The Undateables.

10 live events Provided 394 hours of artistic support and training for people with learning disabilities 240 workshops Supported 127 performers with learning disabilities across all our events and projects Created 1 new project Produced and launched 1 new album (Supersonic by The Carbonators) Created 1 new event 1,986 instances of engagement in our workshops, projects and events 10,000 + downloads of our Soda Stream podcast Trained 24 people with learning disabilities in arts industry related jobs

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ABOUT US Founded in 2009, Club Soda is a pioneering not for profit arts organisation led by the ideas and creativity of people with learning disabilities. We support people to achieve positive outcomes for themselves and the learning disabled community, by providing exciting and engaging opportunities for people to take part in the arts. We aim to produce professional arts events that are diverse and inclusive and above all empower people with learning disabilities to make all the creative decisions. We consider ourselves part of a growing disability arts culture, working to make society more inclusive, accessible and fair through participation in the arts. Our projects support artists with learning disabilities to produce original new work through collaboration with established arts practitioners. We work across a number of artistic disciplines, including music, acting, filmmaking and fine art. Our workshops, projects and events take place in mainstream venues maximising awareness of who we are and what we do. We encourage and promote inclusive audiences at our events, made up of people with and without learning disabilities.

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WORKSHOPS We deliver a range of arts based workshops that anyone can attend for free. All workshops are designed to include participants of all abilities and are delivered by artists with and without learning disabilities. Participants get a chance to put what they have learnt in to practice by performing at a Club Soda live event.

“Bensham Manor Post 16 students have enjoyed a tremendous experience working alongside the Club Soda team. It has been fun, engaging and of high relevance to our students. This opportunity has enabled them to interact with professionals outside of the school and has supported the development of a range of skills including communication, ICT, team work and personal skills. The team were a pleasure to work with and fully understood how to work with the group to support them with learning in a real life environment. Excellent relationships developed over the course of the project. A huge thank you.� Farah, Bensham Manor clubsoda.org.uk

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PRODUCTION TEAM “It makes people happy and everyone was taking part and having fun. I liked the programme of music”

“Being part of Team Live-ade allows me to put all my technical know how to the test and put on good events, and I met my girlfriend Sammy here”

“I think I’m being more patient and giving others a chance to speak. We have lots of new ideas. People listen to and understand my ideas. I met my boyfriend Chris here.”

Collins, on Soda Beat

Chris, Club Soda

Samantha, Club Soda

“With Team Live-ade we have been able to share our skills and knowledge in project management and producing arts events, whilst providing participants with opportunities to gather practical experience in a professional environment.” Sheena, Drunken Chorus

Our Production Team consists of 5 members who run all our events and help make them a success. Members receive ongoing support and training from our associate artists. They also enjoy individual roles and responsibilities that are suited to their own unique skills and experience. As a result the team provides a very high level of service, which Club Soda along with our audiences is very proud of. This year the Production Team has provided staffing and assistance at all 10 of our events in total.

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“I think Club Soda benefits disabled people in Croydon. It helps them to gain confidence and socialise” Terry, Club Soda

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SODA CREW DJ’s SODA CREW DJs

Our associate artist, Fresh Track, gives support to our talented crew of DJs at weekly sessions and at all club nights. In the past year there have been opportunities for Soda Crew DJs to appear at other clubs up and down the country, including special invites to perform at Beautiful Octopus Club on the Southbank, Rhythm of the Night in Bristol, and Kiss My Disco in Brighton.

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“I love seeing my friends. We have a fantastic time coming to the Soda Crew DJ sessions.”

“Club Soda is a lifeline for many people with learning disabilities in Croydon. It offers a chance for people to try new things and learn new skills. For some it can open doors and lead to all kinds of opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available. Club Soda creates a platform for people to shine their light and the community is a better place for it.”

“I’ve picked up how to mix. How to read the crowd. I’ve learnt a lot here. I’ve been down to Bristol and Brighton to DJ. That’s good for me and makes me happy”

Ron, Soda Crew DJ

Nick Carling, Fresh Track

Joel, Soda Crew DJ

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SODA CREW @ BAD APPLE

“The night in November was the first time our youth group had visited a night club together. The Bad Apple was a great venue for it to be held in, the vibe was amazing and it gave our young people the opportunity to socialise safely. Some of our group even wanted to emulate the DJ’s in residence on the night and this will hopefully lead to work with the Soda Crew in the near future. An amazing time was had by all.” Paul Funnell, Learning Disabilities Lead Officer, Croydon Council

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“The rewarding side of running a night club comes from standing back and seeing everyone enjoying the positive it has to offer. From letting go on the dance floor to making new friendships. I can only imagine the satisfaction of the performers after weeks of tuition and practice that culminates in the club nights. They put on a superb show that is received by an enthusiastic crowd. We at the Bad Apple are proud to be associated with Club Soda as it goes along with our firmly held belief that our business should fit into the community with respect, tolerance and inclusion.The partnership of Club Soda and a commercial venue is a beneficial and rewarding relationship for all concerned” Paul Bossick, Bad Apple

The new home for our popular club nights featuring Soda Crew DJs is the Bad Apple, Croydon’s latest alternative club venue. We LOVE our new venue and so do our audiences.

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“I enjoy coming here and meeting new people. We put ourselves out there with our Club Soda nights showing the people of Croydon what we can do. It gives me confidence. Plus it’s good fun. ” DJ Menace, Soda Crew DJ

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THE CARBONATORS

“I love playing gigs, it feels great, I love playing the drums. Writing our own songs, I think it’s very important to do this.” Richard Aldridge, Carbonators

“I feel ok when I’m on stage playing. It makes me feel happy when I listen to my own CD.” “It is a joy to play in the band, it uses talents that I never thought I had. I’m way more multi-talented than I was two years ago. Being in the band has given me a lot of opportunities. It has given me more confidence after playing gigs, when you can hear the cheering it feels great. Writing our songs makes new adventures for us. ” Adrian Clarke, Carbonators

We give support to people with learning disabilities wishing to improve their music skills, compose new songs, record music and perform live. This year saw the independent release of The Carbonators second album, Supersonic, as the band continued to write new material and perform live.

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Narendra Rajendran, Carbonators

“The Carbonators were a big hit at the R Factor, Advocacy for all’s event for self advocacy groups in October. It was great to have them as our headline act - the judges were very impressed, with a special mention for the talented drummers! We hope we get to work with you again.” Rachel Coates, Advocacy For All clubsoda.org.uk

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SODA BEAT

@ MATTHEWS YARD g n i r u t a fe

Our new project in 2013, Soda Beat, directly involves participants in the planning and development of live music events, providing a public platform for musicians with learning disabilities to perform at. With three sell-out events this year (all held at the brilliant Matthews Yard), word is spreading about Soda Beat and we expect 2014/15 to build on the terrific start. Through this project we aim to inspire a brand new music scene in and around Croydon consisting of talented musicians with learning disabilities.We work with Constant Flux to deliver this project.

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“I am pleased to continue the relationship between Matthews Yard and Soda Beat in the year ahead. Soda Beat is exactly the sort of grass roots community activity which both myself and the business like to support. Our entire team find the events and their guests a pleasure to work with”

“I always love club soda events from the podcasts to the club nights. The quality across the board is an excellent standard and it is a pity there isn’t more of it! It would be great to see their networks and offerings expand. ”

Saif, Matthews Yard

Rachel Erickson, Narus

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SODA STREAM “Welcome valued listeners to Soda Stream and anyone who accidently tuned into our show. Today we’re keeping you up to date with everything abled and disabled in Croydon and beyond.”

Soda Stream is our new talk radio show that is broadcast on Croydon Radio each week. Led by the ideas and inspiration of our media team and presented by Caroline Soda, the show is a lot of fun. It regularly features Club Soda artists as well as other guests and is a mix of chat, music and special features. We love producing it and have seen our listening figures shoot up over the course of the year. Soda Stream is in the Top 10 most popular and listened to shows on Croydon Radio.

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“It’s good that I have been able to write and broadcast reviews about my experience on Croydon Radio about travel, events and restaurants, especially around access. It’s good that Club Soda has Soda Stream, where disabled people can do their own show.” Sedley, Soda Stream

“The expansion of skills of the Club Soda media group has grown yet again! as they venture into producing a regular live radio show! Listeners of the show like the introductory line on every show ‘keeping you up to date with everything abled and disabled in Croydon and beyond!….’With hundreds of listeners per week, the Soda Stream Team write, produce and host the show, and with Interviews, disabled equipment reviews and relevant information, all with a focus on accessible disabled content, it’s always a pleasure and fun to partner with Club Soda”

“It has been my great privilege to be a guest not once but twice on the Soda Stream podcast. Caroline is not only a great presenter but knows how to put guests at ease and the hour simply flew by!”

Ned Smith, itrainmedia

Director, Narus

“We are pleased to include the Soda Stream show on the Croydon Radio schedule. It’s a unique show that perfectly meets our objectives for an informed and entertaining magazine style programme with a local focus.”

“I am grateful for all of the Media Training from Club Soda over the years. My live radio show Soda Stream allows me to give something back to the disabled community” Caroline,

Tracey, Croydon Radio

Soda Stream presenter

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THEATRE

“Working with Big White Light Theatre provides us with an opportunity to explore new ways of working with learning disabled artists. Through our DRUNKEN NIGHTS project we have been able to experiment with integrating the group into a professional performance event - breaking down barriers between disabled and nondisabled artists and audiences.” Chris Williams, Drunken Chorous

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“Working with Big White Light inspired so many new ideas and avenues of exploration. They are an extremely talented group of actors with an energy and magnetism I haven’t experienced with any other group. This was felt by the whole Tangled Feet ensemble who worked with them over a six month period. It is a unique group in that their shared working history enables a bravery and spontaneous freedom when devising, consequently producing some stunning work.” Alex Ramsden,

“Working with Big White Light Theatre has quite simply been the best adventure I have ever had. The energy, imagination and enthusiasm of the group never ceased to amaze me. As a creative resource for actors with learning disabilities, the group is invaluable and has enabled its members to experience working in a professional way towards creating a high quality theatrical experience. Ideas produced are original and led by the group members with creative support from visiting artists. I had the privilege of working with them on the 2013 production of, “Come Dine With Us”, an absurd comedy set in a dingy underground restaurant during the second world war.” Martha Palmer, Little Something Theatre

In 2013 Big White Light Theatre produced Come Dine With Us, a physical comedy, with dance, puppetry and live music. It was the company’s first theatrical dining experience, set during the aftermath of the Second World War in an underground restaurant, run by a workforce with questionable standards and behaviours. Since September the company have been receiving support from Drunken Chorus as one of the featured artists in the Drunken Nights series of events.

Tangled Feet Theatre Co clubsoda.org.uk

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ART “The Pop Artists helps me develop as an artist.” Robert, Artist

“I feel more confident about my art now than I did before I joined the group.” Delroy, Artist

The Pop Artists have had a busy year and have quite literally not stopped moving. The group had a residency at Beanies Café between April and December, but returned to the Clocktower in early 2014 to become resident artists at The Museum of Croydon. The collective have been busy producing new work for a forthcoming exhibition to be held in the spring of 2014.

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“Club Soda has worked really hard our group members with dual diagnosis of mental health and learning disabilities become more integrated in arts activities in the community therefore improving both their self esteem and overall wellbeing. They are a great service!” Remi Fadare, Imagine Mental Health Croydon Social Inclusion Team-Arts and Wellbeing

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WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID

“Linking with Club Soda was a great experience for our young people. It was fantastic for them to find out about an exciting organisation which is local to them, and for them to get the chance to take part in one of their fundraising events. We are thoroughly looking forward to working with Club Soda in the future.” Charlotte Dobson, The Challenge

“Our son has really changed over the years he’s been involved with the band. He’s talking so much more, he’s developed, he’s more mature, easy going. It’s great. This has a lot to do with the band, it’s really good.”

“Club Soda offer an experience and opportunity which is truly fulfilling to those young people who have limited social options in the community.” The club has a great following and the DJ’s have a chance to be part of the radio station giving them work experiences which otherwise would not be available.”

A Parent

Pat Smith, Croydon Council

“Watching someone who finds each day so difficult, play an instrument with such talent and ease, makes me feel warm and fizzy inside. I think Club Soda might be made of magic.”

“Working with both Big White Light and Team Live-ade is a chance for us all to learn from each other, and we have been working hard to develop collaborative ways of working, utilising and developing the specific skills of each member of the team.” Sheena, Drunken Chorus

Katey Bell, SLAM

“Club Soda is a fantastic programme which empowers individuals to take an active part in cultural activity and the life of the local community. Through investing in skills development, we are able to support individuals with complex needs who, in turn, use these skills to engage others and raise awareness of the contribution which everyone can make to the cultural life of the borough. Croydon Council’s museum & archives team are proud to support the work of Club Soda and work alongside so many talented individuals, who help us to achieve our aims of strengthening our community engagement and diversifying our audiences and programmes.”

“Club Soda enables people with learning disabilities to share a vibrant community in which the arts, music and engagement in cultural activity are central. Thus as producers and co-producers of their own cultural experience, people with learning disabilities are far more greater participants in society in the same way that other social groups are. As creators and then participants in their own cultural experience, people with learning disabilities are also self-advocates which in turn will bring about other outcomes in terms of their own empowerment. Club Soda is a topic and area of interest that people with learning disabilities discuss amongst themselves with a sense of pride and achievement in Croydon.”

Rob Shakespeare, Museum & archives manager, Croydon Council

Giles Frampton, Advocate, VoiceAbility

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PLANS FOR 2014-15

nights b u l c 3 n u r We will @ Bad Apple

We will work with more young people aged 16-25 than ever before

ew band n a h c n u a l We will help

We will produce 12 radio shows

We will launch ‘Gig Buddies’ in partnership with Stay Up Late

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Impact Report 2013/14

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ith 2 w r e n t r a p l We wil eliver d o t s l o o h local sc s arts project new e n o t n e s e r We will p nce a m r o f r e p e live theatr We will run 2 Soda Beat live music nights

We will partner with mental health organisation ‘Imagine’ to produce one art exhibition at the Museum of Croydon

rdoff o N h it w r e n We will part event e iv l w e n a r delive Robbins to o 25’s t 18 t a d e im a

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THE TEAM

FINANCIAL REPORT

with thanks to the entire team for all their hard work this year. ittee m m o C r Ou

Income • Donations • Earned income • Fundraising • Core funding • TOTAL

£900 £3,675 £4,812 £20,000 £29,387

3% 13% 16% 68% 100%

13%

Earned income

68%

Core funding

16%

Fundraising

rs are: e e t n u l o ly V Our love

ne Dodd • Caroli Halpin • Carly rampton r • Giles F cKeevo M e n n • Lea r cKeevo M m ia L • es ew Hayn h t t a M • eeze • Roy Br i Visrolia • Shreet Breeze • Sophie ia Hicks • Victor

Expenditure • Equipment & other operating costs • Promotion & marketing • Venue costs • Staff costs • TOTAL

£875 £1,965 £3,500 £23,174 £29,514

3% 7% 12% 79% 100%

3% Equipment & other operating costs

12% Promotion & marketing

12% Venue costs 79% Staff costs

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Impact Report 2013/14

lose • Chris C Okolie • Collins Clarke • Yasmin wen • Joe Bo evor a McKe h t n a m • Sa Wilson • Sedley mith • Terry S

3%

Donations

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re:

ners a Our Part

are:

re:

Our staff

ists a t r a e t a i c and asso

illiams • Chris W ant Flux t s n o  C • rus en Cho k n u r  D • rack • Fresht edia • itrainm mith • Ned S arling • Nick C y Phande l e a h c • Ra nix rd Phoe a h ic R  • y a Hollida n e e h  S •

pple • Bad A s Café ol • Beanie or Scho n a M m a • Bensh on Radio • Croyd ‘n’ Soul t r a e  H • d ews Yar h t t a n  M • Croydo f o m u • Muse ns oductio r P s u r a • N ottom • Rockb p Late • Stay U

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The majority of photos used in this report were taken by Sheena Holliday

With thanks to our partner venues:

Special thanks to our funders:

Club Soda Impact Report 2013/14  

A report which sets out to demonstrate the impact our work has made in 2013/14

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