CAFÉ owner Clare Aparicio, who raised money and delivered free meals to people during the floods, has won a top volunteering award, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.
Clare, from Langport, is the third recipient of a Point of Light Award, which each day recognises someone in the UK who is making a change in their community and inspiring others.
She was chosen for her hard work to ensure people didn’t go without food when their kitchens were out of action during the floods.
As well as preparing meals at River Parrett Café, she has raised £9,000 through tips at the business.
The crisis motivated Clare to set up Flood Wings for people to make donations to help those affected by the storms.
The money raised so far has been used to support flood victims and pay fuel costs for tractors and boats that were used to ferry stranded residents to safety.
Mr Cameron said: “Clare took matters into her own hands to do what she could to ensure that people didn’t go without food during the floods, going the extra mile to help others.
“That’s why I am recognising her as a Point of Light – she must be congratulated for taking the initiative and for the money she has raised to help her community get back on its feet.”
Clare said: “My team and I have raised around £13,000 so far to help our community get back to normal after the floods.
“That’s why I was invited to a reception at No 10 and given the chance to meet the Prime Minister and talk to him about what we have achieved.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been recognised and I’m speechless to know that I have been awarded one of the first Points of Light.”
Clare has also received an accolade from ITV’s Daybreak, who selected her as one of their flood heroes as part of their campaign to recognise people who made an outstanding contribution to their community in the aftermath of the floods.