Banbury does its bit to support Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign

Banbury rotarians help plant purple crocus bulbs in East Close, Banbury as part of the End Polio Now campaign. NNL-160203-121556001
Banbury rotarians help plant purple crocus bulbs in East Close, Banbury as part of the End Polio Now campaign. NNL-160203-121556001

Banbury residents have shown their support for the global End Polio Now campaign by planting a bounty of purple bulbs, which are now flowering around the community.

With the support and funding from Sanctuary Housing, the Rotary Club of Banbury has brought the neighbourhood together to plant 16,000 crocus bulbs, the official flower of polio eradication.

They were planted at Sanctuary’s retirement living schemes, Spiceball Park, St Mary’s churchyard on Horsefair Banbury and All Saints churchyard in Middleton Cheney.

Children and families from The Sunshine Centre have also enjoyed planting their own crocuses to take home.

Ron Barnett, a member of the Rotary Club of Banbury, said: “The Rotary International project to rid the world of Polio is on the cusp of achieving its goal, but this would not be possible if we did not have the support and enthusiasm of local schools and community groups.

“As well as enhancing our community spirit we are collectively helping to make the world a better safer place.”

Along with planting, the wider community is showing its support with polio awareness badges being displayed at various locations throughout Banbury, and at 10 local primary schools, with the proceeds given to the End Polio Now campaign.

The string of planting events has seen Banbury Rotary Club raise more than £2,000 this year to support the campaign which hopes to rid the world of polio by 2018.

Kate Winstanley, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, added: “We were pleased to work in partnership with the Rotary Club to help develop and deliver this community-led project.

“The crocuses at our retirement living schemes, along with those planted in Bretch Hill last year, will provide residents with a lasting memory of the campaign as well as brightening the environment each spring. “We were delighted to work with the Sunshine Centre giving the children a fun experience and raising the parents’ awareness of a campaign they could empathise with.”

Rotary International’s crocus campaign, launched in 1979, plays a pivotal role in conquering polio. The aim of the campaign is for all pupils who started secondary school in September 2013 to live in a polio-free world by the time they sit their GCSEs. All funds raised for the international campaign is tripled by global charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This project is funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.