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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