Include Me 2 Club
913. Paul McIlvenny
914. Ashley McIlvenny
Paul and Ashley McIlvenny, from Glasgow, are changing the face of social care in East Renfrewshire with the ‘Include Me 2 Club’ established in 2010 to support children, young people and adults with additional needs or disabilities.
With over two decades of experience as support workers between them, Paul and Ashley identified the need for a community asset to work cross sector with community, youth, social care partners and national governing bodies and deliver activities for anyone with learning, physical or mental health disabilities.
The social club supports 150 members every week, with approximately half of all disabled adults in East Renfrewshire attending the club. The charity is supported by a team of over 30 volunteers and over 40 carers, working in partnership with leading organisations including ‘Disability Rights UK’ and the ‘Scottish Disability Equality Forum’. Paul and Ashley are currently looking to expand the club by helping attendees to gain employment opportunities and learn new skills.
Paul and Ashley were with their awards by Maurice Golden MSP at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
In a personal letter to Paul and Ashley, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The ‘Include Me 2 Club’ is having a transformational impact on people with additional needs and disabilities. By drawing on the wealth of experience you share as support workers, you have been able to create a valuable community asset that is supporting its members to socialise and develop new skills.”
Maurice Golden MSP said:
“I am honoured to be presenting Paul and Ashley their Points of Light awards today in recognition of all the fantastic volunteer work they do through the ‘Include Me 2 Club.’
“Having visited the ‘Include Me 2 Club’, I have seen first-hand how their work benefits its users on a daily basis.
“I am delighted their dedication has been recognised by the Prime Minister and hope this award helps further promote the ‘Include Me 2 Club’ among the West of Scotland community.
“Congratulations and thank you to Paul, Ashley and the team of volunteers that help make the ‘Include Me 2 Club’ an exceptional resource for the community.”
Paul Masterton, MP for East Renfrewshire, said:
“I am delighted that Paul and Ashley are being recognised by the Prime Minister for their tireless work in promoting positive social activities for individuals with additional needs.
“The “Include Me 2 Club” brings so much happiness to those individuals who attend, supported by an amazing team of volunteers and carers. I’m looking forward to joining their “Club Late” event next month, an inclusive club night to let everyone have the opportunity to enjoy live music.
“This Points of Light award is richly deserved and I hope the recognition will help Paul and Ashley as they look to expand this fantastic organisation.”
Paul and Ashley said:
“We are both humbled and honoured to be first nominated for and then awarded the Points of Light award. It is fantastic that our work is being seen by departments, ministers and the PM herself. When we set out to create the ‘Include Me 2 Club’ nearly 8 years ago little did we know how successful it would become. It is great news that our voluntary work and contributions to our community is being recognised by others and again we can only do what we do with the support and voluntary time by our other 33 volunteers attached to the organisation.
“We are very humbled by this award and it is great that the organisation will get a bit of a spotlight through the awards. We don’t do it for awards or the recognition, to be honest; we are honoured each week with the smiles, kindness and friendships we’ve fostered over the years with so many other people. We still strive after 7.5 years to aim to reach even more people and create even more opportunities for people to connect to the charity’s work.”
Below: Ashley and Paul receiving their awards from Maurice Golden MSP at the Scottish Parliament and members from ‘Include Me 2 Club’
Watch Maurice Golden and Paul and Ashley discuss their award and the work of ‘Include Me 2 Club’
The @includeme2club supports those with learning disabilities in Barrhead – it is wonderful to see that its founders have been named #PointsofLight by @10DowningStreet. Watch the video below to learn more about their amazing work. pic.twitter.com/SpyHgqahOr
— Maurice Golden MSP (@mgoldenmsp) May 30, 2018