The unpredictable autumn weather played ball on Saturday as volunteers from Maidenhead’s Rotary and Rotaract Clubs came together to plant crocuses around the town. Rotarians of all ages donned wellies and got their hands dirty to sow a carpet of purple crocuses which will flower early next year.
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the global campaign to eradicate the polio virus. The disease, which causes paralysis mainly in children under 5, was once widespread in more than half the countries in the world.
Rotary International was a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in the 1980s, when 350,000 children a year were affected. Today, thanks to a global vaccination and monitoring programme, the wild polio virus is endemic only in two countries, and there have been only 9 cases worldwide this year.
More than a dozen volunteers from Rotary and Rotaract planted crocus corms at Maidenhead Library, the Desborough Theatre behind the Town Hall and the approaches to Maidenhead at Thicket Corner and Furze Platt Road.
Harrie Hayward, Project Coordinator from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary, said: “One of the reasons I joined Rotary was this idea that an organisation would decide to rid the world of a disease, and then do exactly that. It’s totally amazing that the vaccination campaign has been so successful. The polio virus is literally fighting for survival as the number of cases is pushed down every year.”
Rotary’s slogan is ‘We are people of action’, and we prove that by going out into the community and doing things, whether delivering food parcels during COVID, getting people moving on the Maidenhead Boundary Walk or supporting other groups organising local events.
“Today we had some new members, members from Maidenhead Rotaract, Rotary project partners for 18-30 year olds, and Rotary Direct members from elsewhere in the Thames Valley. It’s great to see people of different ages and backgrounds coming together for worthwhile projects.” Harrie continued.
But the purple planting doesn’t stop there as on Thursday, Maidenhead Bridge Rotary will welcome a team of corporate volunteers from Ashfield MedComms, who will help to plant more crocuses in the Nicholas Winton Garden in Oaken Grove Park.
For more information and to be kept up to date about other events organised by the club visit www.maidenheadbridgerotary.org.uk or contact Lisa Hunter on 07876 341334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE section of the River Thames running through Maidenhead was given a spring clean on Saturday by all of the town’s Rotary Clubs assisted by its sea cadet unit.
Members drawn from the Rotary Clubs of Maidenhead, Maidenhead Bridge, Maidenhead Thames and Maidenhead Rotaract scoured the river bank for litter between Boulters Lock and the M4 at Bray, while sea cadets from TS Iron Duke in Mill Lane took to the water in launches to clear litter from the river itself.
In parallel to the clean-up, Claire Booth and Sushi Gow from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club ran a stall in the High Street giving information to members of the public about how to reduce their carbon footprint and live more sustainably.
The initiative was part of a Thames Valley-wide Rotary project which saw all clubs whose areas include the Thames turning out to clean up their stretches of the River. The day was also used to highlight an international Rotary campaign called End Plastic Soup, which aims to stop single-use plastics being dumped into our waterways and oceans by 2050.
The Maidenhead clean-up was organised by a team from all four Rotary clubs led by Rotarian Gurdial Singh.
He said: “It was a fantastic day and shows what can be achieved when Rotary Clubs join forces with each other and work with community groups. Rotary would like to say a huge thank you to Maidenhead Sea Cadets for coming on board with the project and providing such invaluable help.
“While we picked up a respectable amount of litter from the river banks, many areas were actually reasonably clean so well done to the people of Maidenhead for being environmentally aware and taking their litter home with them. Thank you to everyone for their support on the day.”
THE town’s four Rotary Clubs will be teaming up on Saturday for a spring clean along the River Thames.
Members of the Rotary Clubs of Maidenhead, Maidenhead Thames, Maidenhead Bridge and Maidenhead Rotaract will be collecting litter from both banks of the river between Boulters Lock and the M4 at Bray.
They will be supported by Maidenhead sea cadets who will be manning boats to allow Rotarians to also clear litter from the river itself.
Meanwhile, a separate team from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club will be manning a stall in the town centre to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote greener alternatives to help people reduce their carbon footprint.
The project is part of a Thames Valley-wide Rotary initiative which will see clubs which cover stretches of the river from Oxford to Windsor turning out to clean up their sections of the Thames.
As well as reducing litter and its impact on the environment, the day also aims to promote a major Rotary programme called End Plastic Soup which has the objective of stopping single-use plastics being dumped into waterways and oceans worldwide by 2050.
Sushi Gow from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for all of the town’s Rotary Clubs to join forces for the good of our community. By working together we can make a real difference and also raise awareness of important environmental issues.
“Last year Rotary added protecting the environment as a new core area of focus so this will be only the first of many initiatives locally, nationally and internationally as we turn the same energy and determination that has led to the near eradication of polio to reducing the impact of climate change.”
Rotary is the world’s largest volunteer humanitarian organisation with 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs across the globe. Together they work to make the world a better place is areas such as promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, protecting mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies and protecting the environment.
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