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Mum says ‘she is the busiest woman in Worcestershire
STEP aside Superman – Worcestershire now has its own superhero.
Laura Gill, from Leigh, near Worcester, has been named as a superhero by Mencap as part of Learning Disability Week, for her tireless work on behalf of other people with the condition.
The 26-year-old has learning disabilities and autism and set up the Monday Night Club in 2011 to help people like her have a better social life.
“I wanted to find somewhere where people with learning disabilities and autism could have some fun in a safe environment,” she said.
“The age ranges from 16 to 70, and there are many different disabilities, but everyone treats each other as an equal, and we get on well together.”
The club has grown to have about 80 members and is now the subject of a short film about its regular talent shows entitled The Monday Night Club Has Got Talent produced by Worcesteshire company Collar and Tie with funding from the Big Lottery, which premiered this week as part of the Worcester Festival celebrations.
Laura said: “I want as many people as possible to see how talented the members of our club are — and how much fun we all have together.”
Laura also looks after animals and takes part in activities at Acton Mill Care Farm in Suckley three days a week as well as working towards sports and art qualifications with Worcester Snoezelen, volunteering as a steward at the Swan Theatre and working in the city’s British Heart Foundation shop. S
he is also a committee member of Speakeasy NOW – a Worcester advocacy group working to make sure people with learning disabilities are treated equally – and she also works for the organisation’s health checkers project, which is aiming to improve treatment in hospitals and other health centres as well as being a member of the Bri-tish Institute of Learning Disabilities.
Mencap’s Learning Disability Week, which runs until tomorrow, celebrates real-life superheroes who have to live with the condition or care for those who do.
Laura’s mum, Helen, described her daughter as “the busiest woman in Worcestershire”.
“She gets involved with lots and lots of stuff and she’s very keen that people with learning disabilities are recognised for all they can do for the community,” she said. T
here are 1.4 million people in the UK living with learning disabilities and Mencap campaigns to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities to make their lives better.
For more information on The Monday Night Club visit themondaynightclub.org.uk
For information on Mencap’s Leaning Disability Week visit mencap.org.uk/get-inv-olved/learning-disability-week.
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