Laura Gill, Quality Assessor with The Quality Company formed The Monday Night Club back in 2011. The club is a place where people with learning disabilities can meet their friends and enjoy different activities.
The Quality Company employ Quality Assessors with a lived experience of a learning disability to conduct quality assessments on the homes of people supported by Thera.
How was The Monday Night Club first formed?
When Laura finished college in 2011, she found that she missed seeing her friends. When she tried to meet friends, the plans would usually fall through.
Laura decided that she would set up a club where people could meet at a set time and place each week. She taught herself to be a DJ and set about starting The Monday Night Club with support from her mum, Helen.
How did The Monday Night Club evolve during the pandemic?
When the covid-19 lockdown happened in 2020, Laura and Helen had to change the way they ran The Monday Night Club . They couldn’t meet up inside anymore. This affected all the activities the club normally held.
Laura decided the best way to stay in touch with her friends was by hosting Facebook Live sessions. She went live on Facebook every night for three months, co-hosting with her dog Prince! Laura shared information about the pandemic, and shared updates about rule changes. There were also art and craft sessions cooking projects, and quizzes.
Laura and Helen also started a group called “Happy Confident Me”. The group is a place for people to meet and talk about their feelings.
Everything we do is about about improving people’s health and happiness.
What happens at the Monday Night Club?
The club has grown a lot since it started in 2011. The Monday Night Club now has a football club, an inclusive multi-sports club and Saturday Kitchen. Every Saturday people with learning disabilities meet in a community kitchen and learn how to cook healthy meals.
Currently, The Monday Night Club are holding an art exhibition called “How to be Happy”. It’s about how to keep happy and healthy.
What awards has the Monday Night club won?
The Monday Night Club, Laura and Helen have received many awards for the work they’ve done in the community. Laura has received a letter from the Queen, a previous Prime Minister, and even attended Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding!
What does Laura do as a Quality Assessor?
Laura has been a Quality Assessor since around 2015. She heard about the role from Aspire Living Service Quality Director Ian Harper. Laura and Ian had met through self-advocacy groups near where they live.
Now that quality checks are virtual, Laura can see more people and does not need to travel hours to visit them. She particularly enjoys taking part in training sessions. She gets to meet different people, hear about their lives, and can help to make their life better.
Laura would one day like to see Monday Night Clubs in more counties around the UK.