Purpling Penrith

The community knitters at #turnpenrithpurple are very busy and plans to adorn Penrith are well underway. We need purple wool, and lots of it. If you have spare wool, old jumpers/scarves etc we could use them. Have a look at their Facebook page turnpenri

During the long winter months there are many local knitters from around the Eden busy producing a variety of squares and lengths of purple wool. Not only does this provide a warm and cosy activity there is a real purpose to the efforts.
Community groups, Penrith Rotary Club, Eden Mencap Society with crocus bulbs planted for the town display – made possible by Penrith BID are working together to turn Penrith Purple at the end of February 2017.
You readers may well ask why? – we are raising awareness of Polio. Polio is almost eradicated from the world, this initiative has been going on for many years and Rotary Clubs all over the world raise funds, which is matched by the Bill Gates Foundation, with the aim of eradication by 2020.
In the U.K. we have been Polio free since 1982 and this has been made possible by an oral vaccination in the early years of a child's life, to ensure that Polio remains under control the vaccinations must continue until the world has no new cases of Polio report for three years..
So far this year the world total has been 27 cases of Polio (in Pakistan and Nigeria) - last year’s World total was 74. Have a look at this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17045202
World Health Organisation have estimated that if immunisation stopped now by year 10 it is likely the number would rise to 200,000 cases a year.
Purple is a significant part of the campaign as this is the colour of the ink used to mark a child's finger when they receive the vaccination, many aid and Rotarian volunteers worldwide give their time to find isolated areas that have not received the vaccinations. The purple crocus is the symbol used by Rotary, you may have noticed that the Ullswater Road area of Penrith has over 10k of purple crocus bulbs planted.
The aim of our turn Penrith purple campaign is to highlight the disease and to educate our local community about Polio and to encourage the vaccination when offered, we are only 1 plane ride away from an epidemic.
Our knitters are busy knitting so we can yarn bomb Penrith to coincide with the flowering of the crocus bulbs, turning Penrith purple, bringing some brightness to the town during the dark time of the year and raising the awareness ahead of May Day when a replica iron lung, constructed by roger Frank from Upper Eden Rotary club, will demonstrate how terrible the lifelong treatment was endured by those afflicted, take a look at this link.. http://www.upperedenrotary.org.uk/enterprises/ironlung.htm
So we need to ask for you for your help, we need wool, purple wool, any shade and LOTS of it so we can get busy over the next few months, Eden Arts and Eden Mencap are the drop off points and I would encourage everyone to help out if they are able to. You can join the knitting team or donate some balls of wool, even old jumpers, scarves and hats can be used!
Once the yarn bomb ends the wool squares will all be donated to Eden Animal Rescue for pet bedding, so another charity will benefit from the yarn bomb too!
During Mayday Penrith rotary will be hosting a purple balloon race, raising further awareness and a great prize for the balloon that travels further!

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