A ROTARY club has got school children to support a good cause by dressing up in purple.

Rotary in the Rissingtons, a new Rotary club, held their first Purple4Polio event at The Rissington Primary School on Thursday 4th April. Representatives from the Club were present at both sites, Upper and Great Rissington, to witness the event which was attended by all the pupils of the school.

Purple4Polio is a Rotary initiative in Great Britain and Ireland to raise funds and awareness for our efforts to eradicate Polio across the world and promote the work of our global campaign, End Polio Now. When a child receives their life saving drops on mass immunisation days in many countries their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their 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 2017 there were only 22 cases in the entire world but as long as there is one single case anywhere children everywhere are at risk.

Thanks to Rotary and the support of partners WHO, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just three countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. To finish the job over two billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered every year in over 60 countries until the world is finally certified polio free.

At both schools the children made donations which were collected in a symbolic Purple Pig and then they each had one finger dyed purple. The significance of this was explained in school assemblies at Upper Rissington by Andrew Mitchell ably assisted by Henry Wooler-Bowcock, and at the Great Rissington site by Andy Couchman.

At the end of assembly at the Upper Rissington site Mrs Sue Dawe, Head Teacher, led children in the singing of an inspiring song: 'Be the Change'.

Around the world there are boys and girls who aren't so lucky ...' Mrs Dawe emphasised to the children that each one of them was making a change that would help to make a big difference to the lives of many children in other less fortunate countries.

£200 was raised at The Rissington School Purple4Polio event, and because every £1 raised attracts a further £2 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the sum raised will secure polio vaccinations for 3000 children in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.