Chepstow & District Rotary Club have been handing out free crocus bulbs to local community groups. For over 35 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. When a child receives their life-saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days, their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their polio vaccine.
Rotary’s pledge for a polio free world was made in 1985 when there were 125 polio endemic countries and hundreds of new cases every single day. In the past few years, only two countries have reported cases of polio.
Chepstow Rotary has given crocus corms to Chepstow Library Garden, Mencap, St Marys Parish Church, St Mary’s Memorial Garden, Mathern in Bloom, The Belfry Residents Association in Sedbury, and Tidenham Memorial Hall for planting in the Tutshill Recreation Ground. A large number were given to Chepstow Brownies who left small bags of the on random people’s doorsteps as part of their “Acts of Kindness” initiative. Sarah Gresswell, leader of the Chepstow Brownies said, “Thanks to Chepstow Rotary our girls can leave a little surprise and bring a little sunshine to people in Chepstow.”
Rotarian Guy Wilson, who organised the crocus scheme, helped plant corms at Undy Primary School with members of the school Eco Club. They planted them in a large “U”, for Undy, shape. Their teacher, Miss Wilmott, said, “It will bring a wonderful patch of colour to the playground next spring and remind the children and parents about polio.”
To finish the job over 2 billion doses of oral polio vaccine still have to be administered, to more than 400 million children in over 50 countries, each and every year. Each Spring sees a beautiful purple carpet of crocus blooming in many communities across Great Britain and Ireland thanks to the Purple Crocus Corm planting to raise awareness of the Rotary fight for a polio free world.