Hull achieved something extraordinary

In 1961, the collective efforts of Hull’s people, including volunteers, health workers, pilots, businesspeople, reporters, school teachers and council officers, helped deliver Western Europe’s first mass oral vaccination campaign. One Last Push hosted a series of events in Hull during World Immunisation Week 2018 to celebrate the city’s achievement of vaccinating more than 350,000 people against polio in the space of a week.

We loaded two phone boxes with 300,000 sugar cubes

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To mark the beginning of World Immunisation Week, volunteers from Hull City of Culture, the British Red Cross and the League of Jewish Women helped load two iconic cream phone boxes each with 150,000 sugar cubes, symbolic of the same number that were donated to the campaign by Tate & Lyle in 1961.

A week of activity

Hull City of Culture volunteers joined the campaign and primary schools showed their support by displaying ‘We stopped polio here in 1961’ signs.

The week culminated on Saturday 28 April, at Jubilee Church Hall, a former pop-up clinic, to celebrate the volunteering efforts of 1961. Polio survivor Paul Robinson, Pakistani photographer Khaula Jamil, Director of Health for Hull Julia Weldon and City of Culture volunteer Leanne Ayre were among those who spoke on the subject, and about the need to eradicate polio today.

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Extraordinary campaigns are also happening today

Polio has no place in the 21st Century – which is why campaigns like this are still happening today in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

But we need to give One Last Push to eradicate polio globally, forever.