A swathe of purple crocuses will appear in Central Park next spring, thanks to a donation of bulbs from Chelmsford Rivermead Rotary Club in recognition of World Polio Day.

The bulbs were planted by Keith Brownlie, Rotary District Govenor, Gwyn Hart, President of Rivermead Rotary Club and the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Jude Deakin, on Monday 25 October. Help was given by members of Rivermead and the council’s parks team, who prepared the flowerbed. The arc-shaped planting area is near the park’s tennis courts, just before you reach the railway viaducts when walking towards Admirals Park from the lake.

A swathe of purple crocuses will appear in Central Park next spring, thanks to a donation of bulbs from Chelmsford Rivermead Rotary Club in recognition of World Polio Day.

The global fight

The bulbs were planted the day after World Polio Day, Sunday 24 October. Polio, or poliomyelitis, is an infectious disease which can result in paralysis and which can be prevented through vaccination. Once common in the UK and across the world, it now remains in only a small number of countries and may be eradicated soon. Rotary launched the global fight against polio in 1985 and since then has helped immunise more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.

The purple crocus planting is a joint campaign with the RHS. The colour of the crocuses represents the purple dye used to mark a child’s finger to indicate they have received their polio vaccine. Profits from the sale of the bulbs funds polio vaccinations and donations are double matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Established in 2004, Chelmsford Rivermead is a breakfast club which meets each Wednesday at 7.30am, finishing by 8.30am. They raise money for various local, national and international charities.

Changing the course of polio

The Club President said, “We are glad to be able to make a difference and, through the support of the City Council, publicise this important venture.”

The Mayor said, “Vaccinations, as we have seen over the past year, can change the course of illnesses which destroy lives. Thank you to Chelmsford Rivermead Rotary Club for this kind donation, which will both brighten Central Park next spring and brighten lives across the world by funding life-saving polio vaccinations.”

Find out more about World Polio Day at https://www.endpolio.org/world-polio-day.

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