The Monday Night Club
470. Laura Gill
A young woman from Worcester set up a weekly social club for over 130 adults with learning disabilities.
Laura Gill, from Leigh, who has learning disabilities, founded The Monday Night Club in 2011 to provide a regular social occasion for people like her and to give them access to exciting activities and opportunities. After leaving college, Laura missed her friends and found herself at home every evening with little in the way of a social life. She was driven to set up the club to make new friends and have fun.
The Monday Night Club meets every Monday evening at Barbourne Ex-Services Club in Worcester to give people with learning disabilities the opportunity to make friends and socialise together in a safe environment. The club has become so successful that it now has an attendance of over 130 people a week. As well as DJ-ing at the Club, Laura also organises day trips around the country for members and coaches the club football team.
One of Laura’s successes with The Monday Night Club, which is now a registered charity, involved receiving a £4,000 donation to take 37 people on a two-day trip to London. Laura planned an event at the Shaw Theatre in London to show a film the club had made about their work to an invited audience, including the then Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Rt. Hon, Maria Miller MP, and Richard Bacon MP.
Alongside helping at the weekly club, Laura is also Chair of Worcestershire People’s Parliament, a group of powerful leaders, supported by Speakeasy NOW, who speak up on issues that affect people with learning disabilities in the county.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“With the Monday Night Club, Laura has given hundreds of young adults with learning disabilities across Worcester the opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills in a fun, safe environment. She has made a huge difference in the lives of those who attend the club and I am delighted to recognise Laura has the UK’s 470th Point of Light.”
“I was surprised and delighted to receive this award. I have loved working to make The Monday Night Club the success it has become. It has given me a real purpose in life – and I love to see all the smiling faces every Monday.”