Pupils efforts boost campaign against disease

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A junior wing of the Rotary Club movement has presented a cheque for £500 to help with the organisation’s End Polio Now campaign.

Bexhill Rotary Club helped set up Interact Club at St Richards Catholic College and the local president John Cooper visited the school just before the Easter Break to accept the cash donation.

The money had been raised by members of St Richards Interactors, who are currently being guided by Lay Chaplain Katrina Avery, after they spent more than a year collecting the money with a variety of initiatives including making their own End Polio Now badges and selling them to fellow students, as well as buying cakes which were iced and sold at a profit.

Since making the pledge to eradicate polio in 1985, Rotary International has helped bring the number of cases of Polio down by 99 per cent having immunised more than 2.5 billion children through 125 Polio endemic countries against this paralysing and sometimes fatal illness.

Because the last recorded new Polio case was recorded three years ago, India was the latest country to declare itself officially Polio free on January 13 this year. This just leaves Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria as the three remaining countries where Polio still exists (although there are rumours that Polio has recently emerged in Syria) and this is where Rotary is focusing its efforts right now. Because there is no cure, the best protection against Polio is prevention, which was why Interact Club members from St Richards felt it important to get involved with this project.

Mr Cooper praised the work of the St Richards Interactors’ campaign.

He said: “I am most grateful for this really wonderful result of £500, it really is a great boost to fundraising for the very important work that Rotary is involved in.”