After leaving college, Laura Gill was left with a big hole in her social life. Missing her friends and with little to do in the evenings, she was determined to make a change. Not just for her, but for anyone else with a learning disability like her who was going through the same.

“I wanted to be a DJ and see my friends regularly” Laura remembers.

“When I left college I lost all my social life and missed my friends. I was at home every evening. I started The Monday Night Club in Worcester so we could get together, make new friends and have some fun.” “My mum and I did it together - a mother and daughter project! We started out with venue and a computer. Doing it at the same place and time every week was easy to understand.”

“I hoped that it would get popular, more people would come and it would grow bigger, and it did!” 

I feel happy and proud to have set the club up. People with a learning disability should have all the fun and opportunities that everybody else has.”

Laura who started The Monday Night Club in Worcester

Laura’s efforts saw her winning awards like the Prime Minister ’s Point of Light Award in 2016 and appearing on the Autism and Learning Disabilities Leaders List in 2018, but she is most proud the award the club won in 2018.

“The Award from the Queen - it was for all of The Monday Night Club volunteers. It was the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and is known as the MBE for groups” she says. When people couldn’t meet up in person during the pandemic, The Monday Night Club was there to make sure members could stay in touch with each other. “We went on Facebook live every night during the lockdowns for an hour” says Laura. “We chatted, organised competitions, interviewed people, gave information in easy to understand ways. We did cooking demos, crafting ideas, art club and lots of others things. When we were allowed, we started small group activities such as walks and drumming workshops. We called this ‘Circles of Support’.”

The Monday Night Club has gone from strength to strength, and now is a registered charity with Laura holding the role of Chair of trustees, overseeing the club offering more and more social opportunities for people with a learning disability.

"Eleven years later, and we have moved to a bigger venue, have our own disco, and hold four regular activities every week.”

And Laura wants to remind the world of one thing about people with a learning disability: “We can achieve anything, so don’t underestimate us!”