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Saturday 2nd July 2016 saw saw the official launch of the Rotary Purple4Polio campaign at the handover of the Presidency of Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland from Peter Davey to Eve Conway. This campaign in these islands has the backing of legendary singer-songwriter Donovan and TV Presenter Konnie Huq.

Eve says, "You have already heard about this exciting and easy way of highlighting the Rotary End Polio Now programme and I am looking forward to Rotary clubs across Britain and Ireland joining with your local communities to have fun with Purple4Polio to raise both awareness and funds.

"The world really is on the brink of an historic milestone but to achieve this there is still much work to be done and there is $1.5 billion needed between now and the end of 2019 to turn this in to a reality. The Purple4Polio Menu is there to give you the tools and inspiration to play your part in making history."

With this official launch we are urging the British and Irish public to go Purple4Polio and have provided you with a template press release (member access required) that you can use in your own clubs and districts to tell your local and regional media about the launch of this initiative.

"2016/17 is the Centenary year of The Rotary Foundation, our own and only charity, and I am therefore not putting forward any projects for this Rotary year other than imploring you to join in with the Purple4Polio campaign and celebrate the Foundation Centenary in some way. Ending polio in the world is the No 1 operational priority for Rotary International and Our Rotary Foundation and what a great opportunity to shout this loud and clear to the British and Irish public at large as well as in our own clubs and districts." 

Crocus Deadline Extended

The most urgent Purple4Polio initiative right now is placing your orders for the mass plantings of crocus corms. This really is very simple to do and a great opportunity for publicity and community involvement at both planting and flowering time.

This mass planting is very much Rotary’s initiative and all orders must go through your Rotary district. We are really pleased to see that many clubs have already been contacted by the RHS community based Bloom Groups wanting to get involved and work together and we anticipate there will be more contact from them once their Grass Roots magazine, which is being published this week. 

We are aware some Rotary clubs are still putting "their corms in a row", getting sponsorship for their purchase or agreeing arrangements with their floral groups and therefore have not yet placed their orders. By popular demand and with support from our supplier we have been able to extend the deadline until 31st July.

Delivery of the crocus corms is planned for the week of 22nd August so it really is important that you get your orders arranged soon. You will of course appreciate there is not much time between the closing date and delivery date to finalise arrangements with the supplier for delivery, so your help in making sure you meet the 31st July deadline would be very much appreciated.

We recommend that planting activities are arranged for the month of November as having as many plantings as possible during the same month will help with the generation of publicity locally, regionally and nationally.

November will also be the month when there will be renewed publicity to the public about the partnership between Rotary and the RHS for this initiative, so this will help build up further awareness for our polio eradication efforts.

You can find all resources and instructions for ordering crocuses on the Purple4Polio section of the Rotary website here (sign in required). Here you will find the order form, the Rotary Club Briefing (this is your go-to guide) and the Planting Guide.

The Purple4Polio menu will be populated further once the 31st July deadline for crocus corm orders has passed with lots more exciting ideas of how to get involved. In the meantime ideas for other initiatives to include in the menu and other tools (digital/ electronic) you would like to see within it and for it are welcome at any time by emailing Rotarian Jannine Birtwistle, who is leading this programme.