Melksham charity stalwart meets Prime Minister at Downing Street reception

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: PM David Cameron talks to Melksham Rotary Club member Norman Drake, his daughter Teresa King and prospective parliamentary candidate for Chippenham Michelle Donelan PM David Cameron talks to Melksham Rotary Club member Norman Drake, his daughter Teresa King and prospective parliamentary candidate for Chippenham Michelle Donelan

Prime Minister David Cameron recognised the work of longstanding Melksham Rotarian Norman Drake at a reception in 10 Downing Street.

Mr Drake, 78, of Spa Road, helped set up The Art House Cafe in Market Place in 2011 with the Rotary Club and is now chair of the committee.

The cafe, which has around 40 volunteers including Rotary members, provides a hub for the local community and has raised £30,000 for local charities over the three years.

Mr Drake was invited to a reception for leading community activists at Downing Street after being nominated by Michelle Donelan, prospective parliamentary candidate for Chippenham.

He attended the reception with his daughter, Teresa King, and met Mr Cameron.

He said: “It was very brief as there were 150 people there. We shook hands and he asked me what I did.

“I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Melksham for 42 years and have enjoyed every minute.

“The Rotary movement is under recognised in the media and in some circles is regarded as elitist. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Mr Drake was awarded with the Rotary’s highest award, a Paul Harris Fellowship, last year in recognition of his service.

He said: “We need new members, so why not come to one of our meetings and make up your own mind?”

The Rotary Club meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Art House Cafe at 7.30pm. Call Mr Drake on 01225 702445 to book.

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