The Monday Night Club was founded in 2011 by Laura Gill (who has a learning disability and autism herself) so that she could meet her friends and have some fun. Laura has received several prestigious awards for founding the club.
Making friends is not easy for people with disabilities, and young people with learning disabilities are twice as likely not to be engaged in education, employment or training as those without. They are often isolated and spend a lot of time at home with parents, family, carers, or completely on their own. When Laura finally left college and had to build a life for herself, she realised that keeping in touch with friends was essential to her health and well-being.
These are some of the awards Laura has won for her work with The Monday Night Club:
Beacon Shining Light Award 2015
Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award, 2016
Worcestershire Volunteer of the Year 2016
RespectAbility Award, sponsored by The National Lottery 2018
Autism and Learning Disabilities Leaders List 2018 (Dimensions, LDE, VODG, The Guardian). More >
Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2018, the MBE for groups was awarded to all the club’s volunteers. More >
‘We hope that everyone involved, and particularly your volunteers, feel immensely proud of the recognition that this Award represents’, says the letter of recognition. ‘The work your group does for the community was very much admired by the independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, and I am delighted to inform you that your group has been selected as a recipient for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2018.’
Laura lives in her own home in Worcester with her assistance dog Prince and cat Spencer. She loves the theatre, acting, art and pantomimes. She loves to travel and has visited the USA, Australia, Italy, France, Turkey and Ireland. She believes that people with learning disabilities should be recognised for their individual talents and given the respect they deserve. She has spoken up for, and on behalf of, people with learning disabilities all her adult life.
Laura is the Chair of our Trustees.