A Banbury Rotary Club project aimed at stamping out polio across the globe has raised enough funds to vaccinate 45,000 children, the club’s president has said.
As part of the End Polio Now campaign, pupils from schools across Banburyshire were hard at work planting crocus bulbs last autumn and in March three Crocus Concerts were held to raise funds for immunisation.
The club’s president, John Hansford, said: “The final sum raised from the three concerts was around £3,250.
“Additional donations brought the total to over £3,800 and, at a meeting last week, the club council decided to use further funds so that we could send a total of £5,000 – the original target of the project. This, when double-matched by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, means the project will contribute £15,000 towards the worldwide campaign.
“Each £1 will vaccinate three children for life. If my maths is right, the young people taking part in this intergenerational project have just helped the Rotary club raise enough funds to vaccinate 45,000 children. This local project has funded polio immunisation for the equivalent of every person in Banbury!”
Schools taking part were Banbury Academy, Blessed George Napier, Bloxham, Chenderit, Frank Wise School, North Oxfordshire Academy, Sibford, Tudor Hall and The Warriner School.
Mr Hansford said: “Thanks to the positive response from every one of the schools approached, the project succeeded in raising awareness of the incredible work being undertaken internationally and enabled the students to play their part in the worldwide effort to reach the goal of polio eradication by 2018.”