Did you know that one of the biggest champions of the polio vaccine in the UK was from the Wyre Forest?
Mrs Dawn Clement from Kidderminster was a prominent spokesperson for the vaccine, which eventually saw her, awarded a posthumous British Empire Medal (BEM) by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft in 2016. Dawn lost a long battle with cancer earlier this year.
It was the death of her husband, Birmingham City and England player, Jeff Hall in 1959 which prompted the then 22 year old to dedicate her life to raising awareness of polio and how it could be treated.
In Dawn's quest to promote awareness, Dawn went on a programme of making records and appearing on TV shows. Dawn mirrored the work that Elvis Presley was doing in the US as he too urged Americans to get vaccinated.
Dawn's second husband, Allen Clement says she was an angel who only thought about other people.
"A lot of people have been saved because of the continued campaigning led by Dawn. Dawn was one of a kind and someone who wanted to help other people to ensure they didn’t have to suffer as Jeff did. She was a truly wonderful lady and I am pleased that she has received the honour of the BEM medal for all of her hard work."
Since the vaccine was introduced in the UK in the early 1960s, numbers affected by Polio have dropped from over 6,000 in 1955 to nil today.
However, it must be stressed that despite eradication in the UK – the Polio virus can still be transferred into a Polio-free country – there vaccination is still advised.
For more information about the work carried out by Dawn Clement or to learn more about the Polio Vaccine or Polio Virus please visit www.britishpolio.org.uk