The Rotary Iron Lung
A UERC Enterprise to raise funds for PolioPlus
In 2016 Roger Frank of the Upper Eden Rotary Club conceived and realised the idea of manufacturing, promoting and monetizing an Iron Lung to raise funds towards the worldwide eradication of polio. Over the following 30 months Roger towed the Lung over 7,500 miles to demonstrate it at more than 50 venues. The Rotary Iron Lung significantly increased the awareness of the horrific Polio disease and more than £6,000 was raised for PolioPlus. In August 2018 the Rotary Iron Lung was handed over to Thornbury Rotary Club for the good work to be continued elsewhere.
Rotary started on the Polio eradication trail in 1985 at which time 350,000 souls per annum were paralyzed by this disabling disease. By 2015 this number had decreased to 74 but the work was far from over and at least another 4 years of immunisation at an estimated cost of £5 billion is required to rid the World of Polio.
As a way of fund raising and increasing awareness, especially in the young, the idea of a trailer mounted Iron Lung seemed a novel approach that had certain merits. Having been primarily used in the 1940’s through to the 60’s in the UK (Lord Nuffield of Morris car fame manufactured 5000 units which he donated to the Nation). Sourcing a unit proved impossible leaving no other option than the construction of a new one.
The fully operational, stand alone, Iron Lung mounted in its show trailer is available to any Rotary Club on the basis that a donation is made to the Rotary Club of Upper Eden to cover the units running costs and the Clubs own End Polio Now giving.
The unit requires a 5m long pitch with reasonable vehicle access. Please refer to the towing section for more physical details.
In August 2018 the Rotary Iron Lung was passed on to Thornbury Rotary Club in Bristol to carry on the good work in the south of the country. To check availability and for further details contact Thornbury Rotary Club.