Norman Yates recognised the plight of children in Swaziland some 15 years ago and formed a charity to improve life for them.

Who can doubt that PIES are not good for you?

Recognising the plight of children in Swaziland some 15 years ago and forming a charity to improve life for them has earned Norman Yates a Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Champion of Change Award.

A long serving trustee and chairman of Partners in Education Swaziland (PIES) which today feeds 180 children daily, Norman has been a member of Rotary in Preston South for the past 10 years. To ensure that the charity continues to make a great impact on the local community Norman visits Swaziland two or three times each year all at his own expense.

He will receive his award on 18th May at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff in the City Hall. Presenting the awards to Norman and 11 fellow Rotarians will be the Chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations Peter Kellner, alongside Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland President Denis Spiller.

The glittering evening is a double dividend for Rotary, as Rotary in Wales is celebrating 100 years in Cardiff this year. Over the past 10 years life expectancy of women in the African country has been at around 34 years and often results in households headed by a child or grandparent. The death of an older relative results in the children dropping out of school and they are often close to starvation.

In providing food, shelter, pre-school education and now two ongoing business ventures the community is becoming self-sufficient.

Two care centres operate in partnership with SOS villages and now the centres also provide basic medical assessment and welfare monitoring. Children are helped with life problems and encouraged to become good citizens. Cumbria and Lancashire Rotary District Governor Larry Branyan of the nominating Rotary group says: “Rotary is made up of many unsung heroes like Norman who give their time and talent to help others. They literally go the extra mile to improve lives.”

If you would like to know more about Rotary in your town visit Rotary in Cumbria and Lancashire or telephone 01771 744243

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.