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Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go….

As part of its service to its local community, the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus is to plant about 2,500 purple crocus bulbs near the pond in Abbey Park on Sunday, November 20.

The bulbs should provide a colourful foreground to the pond in the early spring. They mark the 30-year campaign of Rotary International – a body of 1.2million Rotary members across the world – to rid the world of the disease polio.

When Rotary committed itself to this End Polio Now campaign, there were about 350,000 new cases of the crippling and sometimes fatal disease every year. Since January 1 this year, there have been only 28 new cases. All of those come from one country, Nigeria.

They are purple because every child – now billions of them – who have been given oral polio vaccine in National Immunisation Days have their little finger marked with purple dye so Rotarian volunteers know who has received the vaccine and who has not. And the sale of the bulbs has contributed to the billions of pounds raised over 30 year to provide the vaccines.

Where the crocus bulbs will be planted from 10am on Sunday, November 20

Where the crocus bulbs will be planted from 10am on Sunday, November 20

Anyone wishing to feel a part of the project, and to help the Rotary volunteers plant the bulbs is invited to go along to the pond, not far from the entrance with the D-shaped drive in Abbey Park Road at about 10am on Sunday, November 20. The Rotary volunteers expect to be busy there a couple of hours at most.

Rotary member Jim Matthews paid tribute to Penny Brown, from the city council’s  parks services department, who has authorised the planting, for helping plan the project and for loaning spades and other equipment to the voluntary planters. If you want to play a part, please ring Jim on 0116 292 8267 before Friday.