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Aldenham pupils given talk on polio
Students in Aldenham were given a talk on polio as part of a campaign to educate and prevent the disease.
Aldenham School pupils were visited by Colin Powell, a member of The British Polio Fellowship, to hear about polio and post polio syndrome (PPS).
The school was also presented with packs of wild flower seeds on behalf of the charity, so students could "sow the seeds of hope" in the charity’s 75th anniversary year.
Mr Powell told more than 400 students about life with polio, with the focus on information and education in being essential to make sure polio stays eradicated in the UK.
A more important message than ever, given the latest warnings on Polio from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He said: "It was a pleasure to speak to the Aldenham pupils and I would like to thank the school for inviting me along.
"With polio eradicated, it is easy for PPS to become a forgotten footnote to the story of polio. Yet while more than 120,000 people in the UK remain affected, it is an ongoing issue in need of serious attention."
The discussion was followed by handing out 20 packets of specially selected wild flowers donated by Syngenta and Westland Horticulture to pupils, with the hope that the school can establish flower beds in remembrance of those with the late effects of polio and PPS.
Mr Powell continued: "The aim of the seeds of hope campaign is threefold.
"It teaches something about growth and the seasons and serves as a reminder to the next generation not to let Polio return and to secure the help of our young people in our efforts to support those living with the late effects of polio and PPS.
"Thirdly, events like these help The British Polio Fellowship raise the profile of its role, with the local community too, all of which makes it an incredibly positive activity all round."
Mr Powell has lived with polio all his life since contracting the disease aged just six months.
He said: "I was young when I contracted polio and while hopefully these children will never face this situation, it is important they know that disability can be overcome and that there is always hope.
"I can do anything if I want to do it badly enough and I hope I passed that hope along to the pupils."
Robert Collins, head of six form and careers at Aldenham Senior School, said: "I would like to thank Colin for coming along and delivering a very informative presentation.
"It is one thing to see polio on the news but quite another to meet Colin in person. His personal account will live long in the memory of all of us who heard it and the flowers will be a more lasting legacy of his visit."
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