Letter: Big trees from 8,000 small acorns

Date published: 12 July 2018

Dear Editor,

The British Polio Fellowship continues to be a voice for the 120,000 people in the UK living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), and on the eve of our 80th anniversary next year, we aim to plant 8,000 oak trees, one for every one of our members to leave a visible, lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.

We want to see oak trees, not as common as they once were (much like Polio survivors), to thrive once more. The British public has helped us survive Polio and we now we live with PPS - a debilitating neurological condition for which there is no cure. We felt living memorials would be the best way to say thank you to Britain, in a lasting way and I hope, in my home city of Liverpool too.

We need to collect lots of acorns. Horticultural advice would be welcome if Titchmarsh; Monty; or Rachel de Thame are reading (!) We chose the oak, because this member of the beech family is renowned for its endurance and as a symbol of immortality. None of us will live forever but if 2019 is the year we finally see Polio declared eradicated worldwide, that for us would be the best present we could hope to receive.

We’d love to hear from schools, Autumn Watch, acorn gatherers and sponsors. Help make our birthday special. Call 0800 043 1935 or visit


Andy Gilliland, The British Polio Fellowship

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.

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