Soda - Building a more accessible world together

We did it
On 12th April 2022 we successfully raised £7,703 with 101 supporters in 14 days

Soda empowers young adults who are chronically ill and disabled to design a more accessible and inclusive world.

Project by The Funding Network

Started on 29th March 2022 London, UK

Updates 3

Soda posted an update on 15th April 2022

We did it!

Hi everyone

One final THANK YOU to each and every one of you for generously supporting our Crowdbacker! 

We hit our target and we can't wait to get to work - growing our collective of disabled and chronically ill young adults and empowering them with paid opportunities to design a more inclusive world.

Watch this space! 

Happy Easter

Alex, Charli and Oli x

Soda posted an update on 7th April 2022

We are almost at our target!

Hey Supporters, 

We have been totally blown away by the support for soda! THANK YOU!

We are very close to meeting our target of £7500 for this campaign which closes in just 24 hours. We would love it if you can share it with anyone who you think may help us get over the finish line!

Thank you again for your generosity and for your recognition of what it means to design a more accessible world. 

With love,

Alex, Charli and Oli


Soda posted an update on 4th April 2022

Thank you for supporting Soda!

Hi everyone,

Team Soda here reaching out to say a huge thank you for backing us by supporting the development of our community at this early stage!

We can’t wait to put your generous support to good use - working directly with the wider disabled and chronically ill community to make Soda’s vision a reality.

Spread the word

We only have 2 days left of our Crowdfunder campaign so feel free to help us spread the word even wider by posting the following message to your networks:

2 days left to support Soda! A social enterprise empowering chronically ill and disabled young adults to design more inclusive and accessible products and services that work for everyone:


If you think we should be in touch with you or anyone else to discuss Soda’s plans in more detail then we’re always happy to have a chat! You can reach us here: [email protected]

Stay in the loop

If you’re interested in hearing more about our journey moving forwards please sign up to our newsletter here.

Alex, Charli and Oli x

We founded Soda because we want to create a world that has access and inclusion front and centre, and you can help us do that.

The biggest barrier for people with disability, or anyone facing access issues, is how society is designed to disable them. Soda is here to change that.

Why is this so important?

More than 20% of the UK population is chronically ill and disabled. This means they are living with a condition that affects their ability to do daily activities in the long term. It's vital that products and services are accessible and inclusive to this group. But all too often this still isn't the case. 49% of working age adults still feel excluded from society because of their condition or impairment (Scope UK).

Public services have an imperative to be accessible to this population group, while commercial organisations have it in their best interest to increase sales and harness the billions of pounds of spending power (£274 billion per year in the UK alone) of disabled people.

What does Soda do?

We are building a collective of people with lived experience of chronic illness and disability who can offer their insights and expertise, and get paid for it.

People in the collective will be able to:

  • Participate in user research: they will have a seat at the table through participating in co-production workshops, user research, testing and feedback sessions.
  • Build Skills: through events and training, the collective will be able to  turn their lived experience into change, and build skills as leaders and professionals in their own right.
  • Get paid: Soda and our partners value people‘s expertise, insights and time.
  • Access resources: Soda will become an ‘access hub‘ to share knowledge and community insights.

Members of our collective could: 

  • Give feedback on the process of booking a GP appointment with the NHS.
  • Consult for Adidas to ensure that changing rooms in their stores are accessible.
  • Co-produce the design of inclusive seating and quiet zones in a newly developed public space for the London Borough of Camden.  

We are changing the way organisations do accessibility 

Many organisations struggle to engage users with access needs in their work. Soda works with public service and commercial organisations to create more inclusive and accessible services and products by directly involving our experts in the process.  

We will offer organisations: 

  • Access to a community of lived experience experts. 
  • Expertise on how to meaningfully and ethically engage them in user research, testing, and workshops. 
  • Workforce training backed up with cutting edge resources; enabling organisations to be proactive and genuinely inclusive in their culture, as well as their design.

Soda will:

Who are we? 

We are Alex, Charli and Oli. We bring lived experience of chronic illness and disability, as well as allyship to Soda.

  • Charli lives with chronic health conditions and is an active advocate, speaker and writer in the community. She has a background of 10 years managing membership networks, in community development, social impact, funding and partnerships. 
  • Alex has a background in the arts where they worked for over 10 years giving voice to underserved artists especially from the queer, trans and disabled communities. Alex is an expert in digital design and development, a trained community/youth facilitator and a filmmaker. They are a queer, non-disabled ally who is passionate about justice and fairness in our society. 
  • Oli brings wide-ranging experience from both the commercial and social impact sector. He has spent stints as a social prescriber for a homelessness charity, an employment advisor for refugees and a consultant on community engagement. Oli is non-disabled and is passionate about dismantling the social barriers to flourishing societies. 

How will your contributions support this vital work?

Your contribution will directly support the development of our collective of young adults who are chronically ill and disabled.  

We are going to be:

  • Working with a focus group of chronically ill and disabled people to co-design our community offering. (Summer 2022)
  • Recruiting an advisory board and Soda ‘champions’ - to be made up of people with lived experience, with expertise in access, as well as start-ups. (Summer 2022)
  • Hiring our first chronically ill and disabled freelancers to work with us on creating the Soda brand. (Summer 2022) 
  • Developing our website to share more about what Soda does as a vehicle for building our online community.. (Autumn 2022)

Where will your money go?

  • £25 will support one person living with chronic illness or disability to participate in a 30 minute research session with Soda.
  • £50 will cover the costs of one person living with chronic illness or disability to attend a prototyping workshop for testing out ideas.
  • £150 will pay for a sign language interpreter for a half day workshop session
  • £250 will support one day's work with a junior illustrator who is chronically ill or disabled to develop artwork for Soda. 
  • £500 will support one day's work with a developer who is chronically ill or disabled to develop the Soda website. 

Please donate to Soda so we can build a more accessible world... Thank you SO much.

*All donations are eligible for Gift Aid which adds 25% to the donation amount, if you are a UK taxpayer. 

Details of your donation will be passed on to Soda, if you opt-into 'project owner marketing', in order for us to contact you in connection with our project.

The Funding Network is a UK registered charity and will collect donations on behalf of Soda through Crowdfunder. TFN will distribute all donations to Soda, less an administration fee of 5%. TFN will not contact you in relation to your donation.*

Image credit:

The illustration at the top of the page is by “Dana Chan for Disabled And Here.” It was sourced graciously from Disabled And Here and lightly added to by us with some animated shapes. 

The Disabled And Here collection is published under Creative Commons attribution licensing, which means you can use, share, and adapt the images for free with appropriate credit.

If you require a transcript of our video, please get in touch with us.


15th April 2022

Posted a new update

Tamsin Clayton
12th April 2022 at 8:19pm

Great project, wishing you all the best

12th April 2022 at 8:19pm

pledged £200 + an est. £50.00 in Gift Aid

11th April 2022 at 9:50am

pledged £25 + an est. £6.25 in Gift Aid

Oliver Clayton
11th April 2022 at 9:48am

pledged £25 + an est. £6.25 in Gift Aid

Oliver Clayton has also backed 6 other projects

Val Murray
9th April 2022 at 3:51pm

Soda sounds like a great idea the more help these deserving and vulnerable people get is really such a wonderful thing hope you go from strength to strength.

9th April 2022 at 3:43pm

pledged £10

9th April 2022 at 9:25am

pledged £75

Paul white
9th April 2022 at 8:28am

Great project guys, really inspiring!!

Paul white
9th April 2022 at 8:27am

pledged £50 + an est. £12.50 in Gift Aid

8th April 2022 at 10:39pm

The tremendous growth and development you've each made to reach this point is so inspiring. Thank you for living in your truth and designing safer spaces for all.

8th April 2022 at 10:37pm

The tremendous growth and development you've each made as founders is a reflection of what you are doing to make the world more accessible for all. Thank you beyond words and wishing you all the best every step of the way.

Want to fundraise for this cause?