One hundred purple crocus bulbs were planted in Uckfield yesterday to raise awareness of efforts to end polio.
The purple crocus is a symbol of the Rotary Club’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with the colour chosen because it matches the dye painted on the fingers of children who have been immunised against the disease.
The Rotary Club of Uckfield has in past years, with the help of Brighter Uckfield, planted crocuses at Ringles Cross and at the Highlands roundabout.
Yesterday Beryl Venables and Ian Smith from Brighter Uckfield, and Roy Thompson from Rotary planted more just north of the Highlands roundabout.
Roy said local primary schools, including Manor, Harlands, Maresfield Bonners, Rocks Park, Framfield, and Blackboys, have also responded magnificently to the planting challenge.
Over the past 20 years the Rotary’s efforts, with the help of Bill Gates, have nearly eradicated polio from the face of the earth.
There are now just two polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but until the disease is totally eradicated every child is at risk of this highly infectious, potentially life-threatening and paralysing disease.
There is no cure for polio but there is a safe and effective vaccine and Rotary helps to ensure around two billion doses of vaccine are given each year to 450 million children worldwide.