Shropshire Star

Children put their 'heart and soul' into concert effort to help beat polio

One hundred students from five schools in south Shropshire and North Herefordshire took part in a special fundraising concert.

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Some of the children who took part in the concer. Picture: Ludlow Rotary

Youth Makes Music was the name given to the concert arranged by Ludlow Rotary Club and held at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Friday to make it possible for the young people of the district to support the effort to eradicate polio world-wide.

A spokesperson for Ludlow Rotary Club said that in front of a capacity audience, students from Clee Hill Community Academy, Bishop’s Castle Community College, Weobley High School, Earl Mortimer College and Wigmore High School put heart and soul into a concert which featured a wide range of styles including music from the shows, rock and roll and classical.

Pupils from Clee Hill Community Academy in rehearsal for the concert. Picture: Ludlow Rotary

In doing so, they raised around £1,000 towards Rotary International’s End Polio Now initiative. Together with match funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this makes it possible for 15,000 children to be vaccinated against the disease.

Tom Hunt, of Ludlow Rotary Club, said: “It was wonderful that these young people wanted to help end polio by performing this concert, for until polio is totally eradicated every child is at risk of this highly infectious, potentially life-threatening and paralysing disease.

“There is no cure for polio but there is a safe and effective vaccine which we need to continue to roll out until there are no more cases. Rotary is in the vanguard of efforts to bring polio to an end. Since its involvement the number of cases world-wide has reduced from 350,000 in 1985 to just 12 in 2023, and the world could be polio free in 2024. When the world is finally confirmed to be polio free, it will be just the second human disease ever to be eradicated, after smallpox.”

Some 40 years ago, Rotary spearheaded the campaign to bring it to an end at a time when there were over 1,000 polio cases a day in 125 countries, paralysing and killing children. Today, the number of cases is down by 99.9 per cent.

Donations can still be made in support through the Ludlow Rotary Club’s fundraising page: .