Schools ‘Focus on the Crocus’ to back campaign against polio

Pupils of Templepatrick Primary School who took part in the crocus planting at Wallace Park.
Pupils of Templepatrick Primary School who took part in the crocus planting at Wallace Park.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has joined forces with a number of schools throughout the borough to support the local Rotary Clubs’ ‘Focus on the Crocus’ campaign.

Over 10,000 purple crocuses were planted at Wallace Park in Templepatrick, Abbots Cross Primary School, Abbey Community College and Ballynure Graveyard to raise awareness for Rotary International’s eradication of polio worldwide programme.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott, said he was delighted to support the recent bulb planting.

“These purple crocuses signify the purple dyed finger of every child within the programme who is vaccinated against polio,” he said.

“I would like to thank Abbotts Cross, Ballynure and Templepatrick Primary Schools and Abbey Community College for their help to plant the crocuses and support this invaluable campaign.”

The purple crocus is the symbol or Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio and is the focus of this project, which was specially developed by the Rotary Crocus Campaign and the Youth Service Committee of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.

So far, over a hundred Rotary clubs have signed up to sponsor the project.

Naomi Carey, President of Antrim Rotary Club said; “Our aim is to raise awareness and money for the eradication programme. For every £1 raised the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation will donate a further £2.”

Jim Fitzsimons, President of Newtownabbey Rotary Club said, “Since the programme was started in 1985, the disease has been reduced by 99% and remains endemic in just two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan.”