Alnwick, Rotary Club

A purple patch

Saturday, 7th January 2017, 10:30 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 11:53 am
Alnwick Rotary Club crocus planters Ken Moore, Terry Long, Rotary President Dave Campbell, Barbara Reid, Bryan Ellis, Andy Spencer, Jenny Gascoine, Jim and Kathleen Bateman, Jill Clark and Colin Bradford, with Inner Wheel members Lilian Stokoe, Kathleen Bradford and Inner Wheel President Meg Moore.

Rotary members planted thousands of purple crocus bulbs on the Willowburn roundabout as part of the International Purple 4 Polio campaign.

For more than 30 years, Rotary has been working hard to rid the world of polio, a disease that can kill or severely disable. It has no cure, which means immunisation programmes are essential to prevent children from contracting this disease. Until polio is eradicated children everywhere are at risk.

So how do crocuses on Willowburn roundabout help? And why purple?

When Rotary clubs buy the bulbs the Purple 4 Polio campaign benefits from the proceeds, and purple is the colour because when each child is immunised one of their fingers has a purple mark applied to ensure no one gets missed.

It costs 20p to immunise a child, and with the two-to-one donation matching scheme from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it means that for every £1 raised, 15 children can be immunised in the endemic countries, which are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Each country has to be free of reported incidents for three years before it can be declared Polio Free. Reported cases are down from 350,000 in 1985 to 74 in 2015. More than 2.5 billion children have been immunised and Rotary is dedicated to finish the job.

Alnwick Rotary would like to thank Alnwick Council for its help setting out bollards around the roundabout to keep members safe.