The Story Behind Witney's Purple Crocuses

Corms were a reminder by Witney Rotary Club of the continuing battle to wipe out Polio.

Under the Banner 'Purple 4 Polio' a total of 15,000 Purple Crocus Corms were planted in Witney Town Centre in the Autumn of 2016. Now in March 2017 the town is taking on a Purple hue as the Crocuses put in an appearance. It's all part of a national planting scheme aimed at raising awareness of the battle to rid the world of Polio, led by Rotary International.

 “‘We are so close to beating polio” says Witney Rotary President Steve Holborough “It’s vital that we make that final push and complete the task so that no more young people suffer paralysis caused by this disabling disease.
The purple crocus is the symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign, the colour representing the indelible purple dye used to mark the little finger of every child as they are immunised. It’s a vital tool to ensure no-one is missed”

It’s a tall order, yet for over 30 years Rotarians around the world have worked tirelessly to reduce the number of polio-endemic countries from 125 down to just 2. This has been achieved by administerng vaccine to over 2.5 billion children! A mammoth task, often undertaken in territories in the throes of conflict.
Witney Rotarians planted thecorms locally assisted by members of Witney Horticultural Society, the local RHS group.

With final eradication now closer than ever, Purple4Polio, is designed to unite communities and engage in activities as part of the drive to eradicate polio for good.

In President Steve’s words the two organisations are “Working to brighten up the local area and promote health and wellbeing by planting around 15,000 crocus corms in Witney"

Look out for the Purpla Crocuses from early February onwards In Langdale Gate, outside Witney Hospital, the two Health Centres in Welch Way and in the raised beds outside the District Council Town Centre Shop also in Welch Way.