A POLIO-FIGHTING initiative has been recognised for its efforts in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.

World famous jam-makers Wilkin & Sons and Nigel Dyson have been part of the Rotary Purple4Polio initiative to rid the world of the infectious disease.

Rotary clubs have been raising funds to eradicate the disease for around 40 years and according Rotary Club of Kelvedon and District president Mr Dyson the fight is now on the “home run”.

Mr Dyson and Tiptree-based Wilkin & Sons are one of ten winners of a new People of Action Polio Award in Rotary Great Britain and Ireland.

A delighted Mr Dyson said: “It is wonderful to be a winner but it is even more wonderful for Wilkin & Sons and Tiptree Jam.

“They deserved it.

“They gave me 52,000 jars of jam – all I did was arrange it all with Rotary.

“We’ve raised millions of pounds to end polio and this is the last stage, we’re nearly there.”

The jam producers made 52,000 pots of their greengage and plum jam which were then distributed around the country to Rotarians.

Once the jars were empty, they were filled with coins and this, along with proceeds from selling the jam, raised more than £131,000.

With double match funding from the Gates Foundation, it has raised nearly £400,000.

Mr Dyson is keen to continue raising the last of the funds needed to ensure polio is wiped out for good.

He added: “It’s wonderful to get as far as we have and I would imagine it won’t be more than a year or two left, and to think there were thousands of cases when we first started.”

He said there are now only a handful of cases left, in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Rotary Club is pushing forward internationally with its fundraising until they are eliminated.

Mr Dyson said: “One idea has raised more than £400,000. We’re nearly there to ridding the world of a disease.”