We are going "Purple4Polio" in the Lord Mayor’s Show to mark the amazing fact that we are so close to making history by eradicating polio and achieving Rotary's goal of a polio-free world.

Rotarians will be dressed in vibrant purple to celebrate that we are on the brink of an historic milestone: eradicating only the second human disease ever after smallpox. 

Going Purple4Polio in the Parade for a polio-free world 

There have been 100 cases of wild poliovirus worldwide this year in just two remaining polio-endemic countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the other polio-endemic country Nigeria, there have been no cases of wild poliovirus for more than three years, paving the way for the whole of Africa to be declared free of polio. This compares to a thousand new cases of polio a day in 125 countries when Rotary started the campaign to rid the world of polio back in 1985.

Since 1988, Rotary has spearheaded the campaign as a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organisation, Unicef, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who are matching ever pound (or dollar) that Rotary raises to eradicate polio with another two.

Rotarians around the world have raised 1.9 billion US dollars and given countless hours of volunteering to help immunise over 2 and a half billion children globally against polio.

Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassadors Ade Adepitan and Konnie Huq on Rotary's campaign to End Polio Now

Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassadors Ade Adepitan and Konnie Huq on Rotary's campaign to End Polio Now

There needs to be three years of no new cases anywhere to declare the world polio-free. We need to finish the job and End Polio Now and forever and this means continuing to raise awareness and funds for immunisation campaigns in at-risk areas, as well as routine immunisation. 

The World Health Organisation is warning that failure to eradicate polio from the last remaining strongholds, could result in 200,000 new cases every year, within ten years, all over the world.

The Rotary "Purple4Polio" campaign is so-called because purple is the colour of the dye placed on the little finger on the left hand of a child to show that they have been immunised against polio.

We shall be walking and dancing along with The United Wards' Club and accompanied by  a vintage Steam Traction Engine and 1910   "Limonaire" circus organ.


Purple4Polio Ambassadors Paralympian and polio survivor Anne Wafula Strike MBE and TV Presenter Konnie Huq at the Lord Mayor's Show in 2018

The United Wards' Club Crest

The United Wards' Club and Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland have both taken part in the Lord Mayor's Show for a number of years.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is The United Wards' Club’s Patron and some past Lord Mayors have been Presidents.

The United Wards’ Club of the City of London was founded in the reign of Queen Victoria in 1877 by Joseph Newbon, a Common Councilman of the City, as a general and central ward club for discussion of public matters affecting civic, Guilds and general interest. The membership consists of Freemen, Liverymen and members of the City of London Ward Clubs and others who are interested in preserving the traditions of the City and promoting the spirit of citizenship. The Club aims to promote civic values and foster fellowship amongst the City of London’s citizens and Ward Clubs.

Members of The United Wards' Club will be wearing Tabards bearing their crest.  More details on: www.unitedwardsclub.org.uk, on Twitter @UnitedWards 


Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago and is now the world’s largest international service organisation with over 1.2 million business and professional men and women and community leaders as members. There are 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is a volunteer organisation where members use their skills and time to improve the lives of others locally and globally, while building friendships and having fun in the process. There are more than 1,700 Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland and over 45,000 members.  Find out more on: www.rotarygbi.org, on Facebook @RotaryinGBI, Twitter @RotaryGBI, Instagram @RotaryGBI. 

Find out about the new Volunteer Expo to harness the power of volunteering. Hosted by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, it is the first and only event of its kind in the UK.  Kicking off from 1st-3rd May 2020 at the NEC, Birmingham.  More details on:  www.rotarygbi.org/events/volunteer-expo