School goes purple for polio

The club and friends planted 5,000 purple crocus corms at the new Damer First School

On our knees hard at it!

For over 30 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. In that time the number of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just three, with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the drive of Rotary globally. With eradication now closer than ever, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s latest campaign, Purple4Polio, is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good.

The Purple4Polio crocus corm planting 2016 was a huge success with nearly 7 million purple corms being planted across Great Britain and Ireland resulting in a carpet of purple in communities during spring 2017. The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child to indicate they have received their life saving oral polio vaccine. Early in the next year another team from Rotary will be setting out for India to immunise 173 million children under five years of age. Together with Rotary members from around the world, groups in India, working with the Government of India will set about the task, usually to be completed in a day. 

This year, Rotary are aiming to go even further and plant 10 million purple crocus corms in the UK. Poundbury Rotary Club decided to play their part by obtaining 5,000 crocus corms, and plant them to celebrate the global campaign. The ideal choice for a location was decided to be at the brand new school, Damers First School, based in Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset. The school has been developing outside areas for the children to enjoy, and the purple crocus fields will add a great deal of colour in 2018.

So, the planting day came, and club members, supported by members from the Casterbridge Rotary Club, and even one from Basingstoke Rotary were joined by parents, children and teachers from the school. The school organiser, teacher Edd Moore (who is also a Poundbury Rotarian) organised the morning’s efforts, completed in just an hour and a half. Catherine Smith, the head teacher, organised coffee and tea, and even biscuits for the planters on their knees, literally!