A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness of a still potentially fatal disease is set to add a splash of colour to a Middlesbrough park.

The Purple 4 Polio initiative will result in the planting of 5,000 crocuses in Stewart Park after the Rotary Club of Cleveland came up with the ambitious plan of creating the floral spectacular.

Throughout this month, local members will be joined by schoolchildren and members of the Friends of Stewart Park group for the project.

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Already Captain Cook Primary School and Holmwood School have volunteers preparing to help the growing effort, but more schools are being encouraged to get involved.

John Cundall, from Rotary Club of Cleveland, said: “In addition to the safety of participating schoolchildren, we felt that Stewart Park would be the perfect backdrop for a mass crocus planting scheme, ensuring a visible reminder of Rotary’s commitment for many years to come.”

For more than 30 years Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world.

In addition to raising much-needed funds to continue the programme, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland have partnered with the Royal Horticultural Society to raise awareness by planting six million purple crocus throughout the land.

Cllr Tom Mawston, Chair of the Friends of Stewart Park group, said: “The Friends of Stewart Park are pleased to be engaged with something of such importance to children in the world.”

Any schools who want to get involved in the project should contact John Cundall on 01642-274944.