Painting the Town Purple for End Polio Now

Rotary's most ambitious and inspiring Programme is to eradicate Polio completely across the world. On current progress that should be completely and permanently achieved by 2018.

Only Rotary had the political and community clout, the ability to inspire partners, governments and donors (The World Health Organisation, Bill and Melinda Gates etc)  and the people on the ground to raise funds and do the work.

There were 350,000 cases of Polio every year in 1986 when this all began - mostly children - many of whom either died or were permanently disabled. So literally millions of children have been saved from death or seriously impaired lives. But this will only be a success long term if we finish the job and carry on until we are absolutely sure no pocket of wild virus remains. At the end of 2013 India was declared no longer on the list of Polio endemic countries after no cases for 3 years. It shows that the campaign is working. There were 125 endemic countries when Rotary began their campaign in 1985. Only 3 in 2014. Bill Gates is matching Rotary's donations too.

Ampthill and District Rotary Club have played their part in this campaign by raising funds and by supporting our Club President 2012/13, Nigel Milway and his wife Maureen to visit India in December 2012 to take part in the vaccination programme.

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 nail of a child who has been immunised.

Joining forces with the Royal Horticultural Society we hope to add a purple splash of colour and vibrancy to our community through the planting of 15,000 purple crocuses.

In October and November of 2016 Ampthill & District Rotary Club planted 10,000 crocus corms in Flitwick and Ampthill, as well as distributing 5,000 to 10 local schools (Redborne Upper School, Alameda Academy, Woodland Academy, Kingsmoor Lower School, Flitwick Lower School, Templefield Lower School, The Firs Lower School , Russell Lower School, Maulden Lower School and St Mary’s Clophill) and 8 Nurseries. Our hope is that when they bloom in February not only will they enhance our community but will also remind people that we are very close to seeing Polio totally eradicated.

For information on Purple4Polio visit: or The Global Polio Eradication Initiative visit: