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Students help Rotary achieve polio dream

De Montfort University students take a break from planting crocus bulbs to pose for a photo

De Montfort University students take a break from planting crocus bulbs to pose for a photo

For the second year running, students from De Montfort University dug in to help the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus mark Rotary International’s success in almost eradicating poliomyelitis.

When Rotary started its campaign in 1985. there were one thousand new cases of the crippling and sometimes fatal disease being diagnosed EVERY DAY. So far THIS YEAR there have been only 11 across the whole world.

Over the last 32 years people from across the world, including Leicestershire, have donated millions of pounds to buy millions of doses of oral vaccine which volunteers have administered to children. Each child has their little finger dipped in purple ink to indicate that they have been immunised.

So on a lovely late autumn Saturday morning, members of Leicester Novus Rotary, together with 18 students from De Montfort University planted about 2,000 bulbs which should become a mass of purple crocuses next spring.

“We simply could not have done it without their help,” said Rotary Club President Elect Jason Chauhan.”We are so grateful to them and to Rupal Vasani, who helped us revamp the ‘pocket park’ at the corner of Walnut Street and Aylestone Road which now has a bright, modern Tigers-themed mural.

“That project, like the crocus planting last year and this year has been made possible by Penny Brown, of the city council’s parks department. Without her permission, her expert advice and her department’s spades and safety equipment, we could not have done this,” said Jason.

All of the students clearly enjoyed getting away from their various courses and the physical activity; so much so that they all indicated that they would be happy to help again when .Novus helps Penny and her team plant some more bulbs later this year.

If you would like to help — or to know more about Rotary — please e-mail us If you just want to see the fruits of our labours, visit Abbey Park and go the the area near the pond between the boating lake and the bowls rink near the main Abbey Park Road entrance.