On 3rd and 5th of December The Rotary Club of Westbury planted 4,000 crocus along the grass verge along Bitham Park, just up from Lidl store and to the area just beyond the gates to All Saint's Church in Westbury
The team adhered to the very latest CoVid-19 tier restrictions and all Health and Safety precautions were taken.
It will be a reminder each spring of the fight for a polio free world. In previous years, purple crocuses have been planted on the lawn behind the town war memorial and along the Bratton Road verge of Prospect Square.
In August, Rotary and the world celebrated a significant milestone, as the World Health Organization certified the Africa region, which includes 47 countries, free from wild polio.
This leaves just Pakistan and Afghanistan as the two remaining polio endemic countries in the world. But despite this momentous progress, more challenging work lies ahead to eradicate the disease for good.
Rotary members throughout Great Britain and Ireland will be planting 2 million purple crocus corms across their communities, adding to the almost 22 million which planted in previous years.
Purple has become a symbolic colour in the fight against polio, inspired by the colour of the dye painted on the little finger of a child to signify they have received their potentially life-saving polio vaccine.
This is essential on mass immunisation days when literally millions of children receive the vaccine across entire regions or even countries.
Westbury Rotary President, David Pike commented, “We’re proud to be planting these purple symbols of the Polio campaign. Only together can we end polio and we can all play our part in the continuing global efforts to eradicate the disease.”
Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) over 30 years ago, globally, more than 2.5 billion children have been protected against the disease, with the number of cases reduced by 99.9% from around 1,000 cases per day in 125 countries.
In order to sustain this progress, around 2 billion doses of the vaccine still have to be given to more than 400 million children in about 50 countries every single year.
This is in addition to the routine immunisations that happen elsewhere around the world, including in the UK and Ireland.
Without full funding, political commitment and volunteer-led social action, there is a real threat that polio could return, putting children worldwide at risk.
Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts and thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation every £1 we raise is matched 2-to-1 so is worth £3 to the campaign.
Rotary has contributed more than US$2.1 billion to ending polio since 1985.