Crocus planting at Pattingham.
Crocus planting at Pattingham.

Rotary clubs in Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands are going ‘Puple4Polio’ for a polio-free world.

It was World Polio Day last week and the Rotary district is helping to rid the world of polio by supporting a nationwide initiative called Puple4Polio.

Throughout the year Rotary clubs in Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands will be holding a whole host of events to raise funds and awareness of the deadly disease.

Rotary clubs are planting thousands of purple crocus corms to transform public spaces and brighten up local communities. The colour purple has been chosen as it represents the colour of the dye which is placed on the little finger of a child on mass immunisation days when millions of children in entire countries are protected against the disease.

The campaign is being supported by legendary singer-songwriter Donovan and TV presenter Konnie Huq to encourage a joining together in the final push to eradicate polio worldwide.


For more than 30 years Rotarians have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio and the number of polio endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just three with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations – thanks to the help of Rotary.

With eradication across the world now closer than ever, Rotary’s latest campaign is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of what the world is hoping will be the final efforts to eradicate polio forever.

District Govenor Rotarian John Sayer
District Govenor, Stone’s John Sayer

District Govenor Rotarian John Sayer, who leads the Rotarians in Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands, said there had been promising steps with just 27 cases of polio recorded worldwide so far this calendar year.

“As a district, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that polio is eradicated for good, and with fewer cases being reported, we are confident that we can end this deadly disease forever.

“Many of our club members have seen at first hand the devastating effect polio can have to individuals and communities through visits to India to take part in national immunisation days. That makes this milestone even more poignant.”

He added: “The world stands on the brink of an historic milestone and we must focus our efforts on the final push to eradicate this disease to ensure a polio-free world.

“We are now so close to finishing the job with only three remaining countries, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio is still endemic. That’s why the Purple4Polio campaign is so important to raise awareness and funds.”