The Rotary Club of Lochaber continued its efforts to eradicate polio by holding a special lunch last week.

Already this year, the club’s ‘End Polio Now’ campaign has seen them sell jars of Tiptree plum jam and distribute Purple4Polio badges.

Purple4Polio is a Rotary-wide partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), aiming to plant five million crocus corms to add a vibrant carpet of purple to communities.

But the Lochaber branch says these events were topped on Saturday, May 13 by a soup and sandwich lunch where the generous Lochaber public, and a big turnout of visitors to Fort William, helped raise several hundred pounds to get rid of the disease.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. The Rotary polio campaign dates back to 1985 when Rotarians promised to the mothers of the world that polio would be eradicated and their children would no longer suffer from the disease.

The Lochaber branch says this promise is on the brink of being fulfilled, with just 37 polio cases in three countries in 2016 and that there are real hopes 2017 will see the last case.

Last Saturday 13 May 2017 in Duncansburgh Church Hall, the soup and sandwiches were complemented by tea, coffee and shortbread.

Club members produced a range of homemade soups, including sweet potato and parsnip, tomato and lentil and cream of celery, followed by platters of freshly prepared sandwiches.

Club president Paula Ross said she was delighted by the public support and added: ‘At one stage there was hardly an empty table. Ending polio is just one of the hundreds of initiatives Rotary is involved in to make a difference to communities at home and abroad.’