THREE Widnes sisters who set up a social club for adults with learning disabilities 23 years ago have won a royal accolade.

Grandmothers June Roberts, Mary Attwood and Tricia Hayes received the Queen’s award for voluntary service, the equivalent of the MBE.

They were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace yesterday (Tuesday).

June, aged 64, from Highfield Road, who has five grandchildren, launched the disco at the Buffs Club whilst she worked at Pingot day centre and her sisters now run it.

Around 50 people aged 18-60 attend every Wednesday and the Buffs support them with fundraising events.

June said: “It is lovely to see these adults go to the bar, catch up with their friends and enjoy themselves. It is a safe environment for them.”

Mary, aged 67, from Lytham Road, who has four grandchildren, said: “One lady who is disabled clicks her fingers to the music. Others with poor mobility and little speech really enjoy it.

“It gives them freedom. It’s about normality, things we all take for granted.”

Tricia, aged 69, from Tennyson Road, who has seven grandchildren, said: “When Pingot closed, these adults lost touch with each other. This helps carry on their friendships. It’s all about social interaction on their level.

“They sing their favourite songs and enjoy a drink.

“I have arthritis in my knee. On bad days it is twinging but when I get to the club, they lift me. I come out feeling better.

“We’re like one big family.”