Family funeral firm run to beat polio

Members of the Rowland family. Pic: Rowland Brothers Ltd

Members of the Rowland family. Pic: Rowland Brothers Ltd

Three generations from a Croydon family business will be taking part in a charity fundraiser later this month, which involves climbing the former Millennium Dome at the O2 Arena.

Rowland Brothers funeral directors senior partner Tony Rowland, his son Stephen and grandsons Ben and Jo Walkling are hoping to raise money for the charity ‘End Polio Now’. They will be amongst 400 hundred other participants in the sponsored event due to take place on Tuesday February 23.

Tony has taken part in many charities including Round Table and Rotary; he is also currently president of the Croydon Rotary Jubilee. He says he wants to help in any way he can. “We participate in numerous events annually for local charities and Rotary charities, whether it is a fun walk or event,” he said.

“If people want to participate then join us in climbing over the Dome it will be a great fund event – and hopefully the rain will stay away.”

Tony Rowland told Eastlondonlines: “Seeing children needlessly affected by Polio is heart-breaking so we decided to try and help. For each pound raised, the Bill Gates Foundation will contribute a further two pounds – so it’s a good way to raise funds for a worthwhile charity.”

In 2015, Nigeria was removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic, leaving only Afghanistan and Pakistan as the two last countries infected by the disease.

Stephen Rowland said: “Polio needs to be eradicated from this world – it is possible and it shouldn’t exist any longer, we have the medicine which we all take for granted in the UK – but in some countries many children are needlessly crippled for life.”

To help beat polio, people can donate here.

Follow Nina Lecourt on Twitter: @NinaLecourt

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