Charity champ’s date with the PM

Michael with the Prime Minister
Michael with the Prime Minister

A community champion who is deaf and blind met the Prime Minister on a visit to London recently to help fly the flag for Scotland.

Michael Anderson (75), who is vice-chair of Deafblind Scotland, based in Lenzie, was invited to join David Cameron at Downing Street for the PM’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations.

He was invited after winning the government’s ‘Points of Light’ award last year, which recognises outstanding individuals who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Michael has been a volunteer for over 20 years with Deafblind Scotland.

He raised more than £10,000 after becoming the first fully blind and severely deaf person to climb Ben Nevis on his 70th birthday, five years ago.

The dedicated volunteer said: “I was accompanied by my guide and it is a day we will both not forget.

“The Prime Minister gave a short speech standing beside a model of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier being assembled at Rosyth.

“He said he had done some research into Scottish history and learnt how the Saltire came about in the year 832AD.”

Michael got the chance to have a chat with the PM afterwards.

He said: “There were at least 200 people present and it was difficult for me to socialise with those present because of the noise level.

“I asked my guide to take me to the model of the aircraft carrier so that I could feel it, if that was possible.

“The Prime Minister was still there talking to a young man but a photographer who was standing nearby, said if we touched his arm when he finished speaking, he would respond.

“We shook hands and we exchanged a few words. All in all, it was quite an experience.”

Michael’s next challenge to raise cash for Deafblind Scotland is to hike across Scotland from Iona to St Andrews in May next year. To find out more, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/mikesmob/