Vale's purple flower planting helps to tackle illness

Sat 23 Feb 2019

Special flowers are helping to spread the message at the Vale's parish church – and eradicate one of the world's worst diseases.

The brightly coloured spring blooms are part of the Rotary Club's Purple4Polio initiative to stamp out the crippling and potentially deadly infection.

Crocus corms were supplied to the island and then planted out by the Vale Floral Group as part of a wider Floral Guernsey project.

Sponsored locally by Appleby, Purple4Polio is raising funds and awareness to help remove the disease globally and is having a lot of success.

There were 125 polio endemic countries in 1985 and hundreds of new cases every single day. In 2017 there were only 22 cases in the entire world.

Purple inspiration
When a child receives life saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days in many countries their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their life saving vaccine.

This was the inspiration for the purple crocuses and the motivation for the Vale Floral Group to plant thousands of corms by hand to support this important project to improve global health.

The blooms line the approach to the Vale Church from the car park and have drawn much comment from people who have seen them. They have also been planted opposite the main road in the old cemetery, pictured above, and are showing through in the current spring weather.

The parish floral group gave all crocus corms to Vale School last year, along with instructions and aftercare guidance, so hopefully the school and its visitors will soon enjoy them.

  • Where next?
    Crocus plantings will continue again this year so if parishioners have any suggestions about areas in the parish that could be brightened and enhanced in this way while also spreading the polio prevention message, floral group members Denise and Bill Cohu would be pleased to hear from them. They can be reached via [email protected] or by ringing the office on 
    244155. Its opening hours are: Monday - Friday 10.00 - 13.00




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