Renita is one of our customers who lives at 22 Argyll Street, our home in Ryde for people with learning difficulties.
In 2011, residents of 22 Argyll Street founded The Monday Club, a social group for people with learning difficulties on the Island.
In 2010/2011, council funding for day services across the Isle of Wight saw significant cuts. The result was a reduction in services and support staff for our customers on the Island, leaving 22 Argyll street residents needing to find a way to replace their previous daily activities.
Members of the club would get together on Mondays to plan activities together and socialise. The club grew to include customers outside 22 Argyll Street who were facing similar issues, with an emphasis on bringing together local communities and voluntary groups.
One of the initiatives the club helped set up is the Quarr Abbey gardening project, which is run in partnership with Quarr Abbey and the Isle of Wight Council. Those who volunteer with the project plant, grow and sell their own produce, and related goods they make, in the local Abbey shop, and the project offers a way for local residents to gain new skills and confidence.
Renita is the Monday Club’s treasurer. She says:
I like working in the garden. The vegetables we grow go into the shop and people that visit Quarr Abbey buy them and say they are good. I like talking to my friends up there. We go Tuesdays and Thursdays and I like being outside.
I like being treasurer and help to bank the money. We all pay £1 each time we go which means we can save up and go out for a coffee or breakfast. We sit and chat about things like how you should treat your friends and other stuff like where to go or what to do next time. Other people come along who are not from Argyll Street and we like being a team together.