Story: Laura’s “great and valuable services”

During the Covid restrictions and lockdowns, people have used different ways to keep in touch. For the first three months of lockdown, Laura Gill kept in touch with the members of the charity she founded by going live on their Monday Night Club Facebook page every evening for an hour.

Laura’s carried on being busy since then. In March 2021 she and two other volunteers were given the High Sheriff of Worcestershire’s award “in recognition of great and valuable services to the community.” And, in October 2021, her charity will celebrate 10 years since it began, with plans for a special, major, party.

Laura set up The Monday Night Club so she could carry on meeting friends and making new ones, after she’d left college. It’s a social club for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, like Laura. Over the years it has expanded from the original Monday dance night – with Laura often the DJ – to offer more ways for people to socialise, like playing football, the cooking club, or taking part in a talent show.

Laura’s also planning more events for the future – such as a Sports Day in the summer. This is partly to find out what other sports the charity’s members would like to play. She’s keen on adding sports like cricket, netball, croquet, and volleyball. Laura wants the Monday Night Club to make sure everyone gets to explore what they might enjoy – and become good at. If the anniversary party can’t happen in person until 2022 because of Covid, Laura’s also planning to make and show a new film about the charity and its work with more than 400 people over its 10 years.  The Monday Night Club’s website has news of all its events and a ‘roadmap’ of how these will gradually be moving out of Covid restrictions after March 2021.