Pupils from secondary schools across Banbury have been planting bulbs aplenty this week as part of a Rotary Club project to stamp out polio across the globe.
Youngsters at Chenderit, The Warriner, Sibford School, Banbury Academy, Bloxham, Blessed George Napier, North Oxfordshire Academy, Frank Wise and Tudor Hall Schools have been planting beds of the Ruby Giant Crocus bulb whose purple flowers symbolise the purple dye used in polio immunisations.
The Rotary Club of Banbury, which organised the planting to coincide with World Polio Day today (Thursday), has also scheduled special concerts for the pupils to perform in February and March to coincide with the flowering of the bulbs.
The proceeds of the concerts will go towards the End Polio Now campaign and the aim is to raise £1 for each of the £5,000 bulbs planted.
The proceeds will then be trebled by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation. Fred Riches of the Rotary Club of Banbury explained: “There are only three countries in the world where polio still exists, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. We realised children who started secondary school in September could be living in a polio-free world by the time they do their GCSEs.
“The hope is that if these concerts go well we will continue this for five years until the job is done.”