Thanks for Life
Thanks for Life

Photograph: All aboard the polio bus. Pupils in Dumfries and Galloway proudly show their purple End Polio Now wristbands. Photogapher Chloe Adams, Dumfries and Galloway News.

The 23rd of February saw thousands of Rotarians across Great Britain and Ireland embark on exciting activities as part of the Thanks for Life campaign. From a double decker polio bus which toured primary schools in Scotland to the Welsh First Minister giving his support to ShelterBox, clubs pulled out all the stops to make the 23rd of February, a Rotary Day to remember:

Polio campaigner, Gautum Lewis, appeared on national BBC news to talk about his experiences as a polio survivor and why it is important for everyone to be involved in the push to wipe out the disease. His interview can be viewed here.

Plymouth Albion Rugby Club players wore their End Polio Now shirts which were later auctioned to raise money for the campaign. The Lord Mayor of Plymouth was particularly impressed with ShelterBox, which was on display in the Cotswold Camping Shop, and the Literacy in a Box project run by Rotary Club of Roborough. The Lady Mayoress, on the other hand, was touched by the polio campaign as her mother had suffered from polio as a child. Read more here.

In Wales, Rotarians took the opportunity of the start of the Thanks for Life Campaign to present a showcase to Welsh Assembly Members and the public with a presence in the Senedd, the National Assembly Building on the waterfront in Cardiff Bay. Supported by Rotarians from District 1150, 1180 and Rotary Club of Monmouth, the display showed the importance of the Thanks for Life project and showed many of the other activities carried out by Rotary. The Rotarians were joined by Interactors from Dyffryn Taf School in Whitland who erected a ShelterBox tent and displayed the box contents on the concourse outside the Senedd.

The polio bus hit the roads in Scotland thanks to the Rotary clubs of Castle Douglas , Dalkeith and Kirkcudbright. Pupils in the area donated a pound to board the bus and learn all about polio. They were given purple wrist bands with the words: “End Polio Now, Thanks for Life”. In other schools, pupils wore purple clothing and put purple fingerprints on maps of the world.

Gloucester Cathedral caught the attention of the BBC when it was lit up with the End Polio Now logo. Watch the interview with Allan Berry of RC Cheltenham here.

A bravery award ought to be given to the Rotary Club of Winchester who defied the rain and cold to collect in the streets. This did not go unnoticed. BBC Radio Solent’s Jon Cuthill interviewed the club live on air. Fast forward approximately 56 minutes into the interview here.

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“Our club is organised around the spare time and lower budgets of 30+ young professionals and families. We meet in a coffee shop and welcome children to our meetings."

- Lisa Hunter, Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge

Lisa Hunter, Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge
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