A MISSION of mercy to India, undertaken last year by Ledbury Rotarian Jan Long, led to a recent invitation to visit the Houses of Parliament.

Mrs Long returned home from her mission to India in February last year, where she worked alongside local medical staff in Delhi, helping to immunise people against the polio virus.

She spent a week in India, and recently her selfless work was recognised by an official invitation to visit The House of Commons, where she and fellow Rotarians involved with the polio immunisation programme were thanked.

Returning from India last year, Mrs Long said: "I was humbled by what I'd seen, uplifted by being in a position to help save children from polio and astonished by the remarkable dignity and cheerfulness of people who, though have nothing, overwhelmed us with their kindness and courtesy."

The recent visit to the Palace of Westminster, by contrast, was a world apart, but much appreciated.

Mrs Long said: "Walking through the corridors of power in the House of Commons, passing magnificent pictures, statues, tapestries and architecture illustrating historical events, I made my way to the Terrace Pavilion in Westminster.

"Sitting next to a rather grey River Thames with a cool breeze and threats of rain, those Rotarians who had been part of the Polio Immunisation Teams in India, gathered at the invitation of MP William Wragg."

She added: "The memorable event provided an opportunity to hear inspirational speeches by William Wragg who revealed that he had been involved with Rotary since his teenage years, having been a finalist in the Rotary 'Youth Speaks' competition.

"The Rt Hon Penny Morduant MP spoke on international development matters and expressed grateful thanks to the 'amazing work being done by Rotarians to eradicate Polio globally'.

She indicated their could be "increased funding for this purpose".

Mrs Long added:"We were served with delicious refreshments at this highly enjoyable reception where the prevailing atmosphere was full of joyful acknowledgement knowing that it is a job well worth doing."