Preston community unites to plant for Polio
UCLan, the Rotary Club of Preston Guild and local schoolchildren plant 5,000 crocus corms on the city centre campus
A pocket of Preston will be in a purple bloom come springtime thanks to a community initiative between the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Rotary Club of Preston Guild.
The two organisations have joined together with local schoolchildren to plant 5,000 purple crocus corms on the city centre campus to raise awareness for the End Polio Now initiative, known as Purple4Polio.
Students and staff from UCLan and members of the Preston Guild Rotary Club had help in the mass planting scheme from Year 5 children from English Martyrs Catholic Primary School and Year 7 pupils from Our Lady’s Catholic High School.
The volunteers braved the wind, rain and cold temperatures to plant the bulbs on land next to the University’s Library and St Peter’s Arts Centre.
"It’s been great to see so many people coming out in cold and wet conditions to lend their support to this event. Promoting the worldwide eradication of Polio is a great project and one the University was delighted to get involved with."
Dharma Kovvuri, Director of Business Development in UCLan’s Faculty of Business, Law and Applied Social Studies, said: “Many people will be astounded that polio has not been eradicated throughout the world already. Raising attention to this fact is a worthwhile project that UCLan is pleased to support. We are delighted to partner with the Rotary Club of Preston Guild on this international initiative and look forward to working with them on other similar projects in the future.”
Yasmeen Ali, a Lecturer in Volunteering and Community Leadership, led the event. She said: “It’s been great to see so many people coming out in cold and wet conditions to lend their support to this event. Promoting the worldwide eradication of Polio is a great project and one the University was delighted to get involved with. We are working together with the Rotary Club of Preston Guild and local schoolchildren to raise awareness and do all we can to help an international cause.”
"This mass planting is a great scheme to leave a permanent reminder of the plight of people still fighting the disease."
Among the youngsters helping out were Millie-Ann Kirkpatrick and Sara Adamson from English Martyrs Catholic Primary School. Nine-year-old Millie-Ann said: “It’s been fun because we’ve been able to get really mucky and help with doing lots of planting.”
The Rotary Club of Preston Guild holds its weekly breakfast meeting in UCLan’s Scholars Restaurant. Chris Hedley, a member of the Club, said: “For the past 30 years, the international organisation of Rotary has been working in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and, more recently the Bill & Linda Gates Foundation, and we are extremely close to total eradication of the disease with only two countries remaining with an endemic problem.
“This mass planting is a great scheme to leave a permanent reminder of the plight of people still fighting the disease.”
Polio is a disease has maimed and killed thousands, often leaving many with life changing disabilities. The Purple4Polio crocus planting event is one of many being run throughout the country during November and it is also supported by the Royal Horticultural Society.