Message in a bottle scheme

Monday, 22 January, 2018


The Community Safety Partnership in Oadby and Wigston is working with The Lions to roll out the ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme across the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The partnership, which includes the police and local council, have ambitious plans to get a ‘message in a bottle’ into the home of every elderly or vulnerable person across the force area to ensure their emergency medical details can be accessed quickly by emergency responders should they be needed.   The project combines two existing schemes;

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme which has been adopted by some Police Forces in the UK which encourages family, friends and carers to put together useful information which can then be used if a person with dementia goes missing. It contains vital information such as medication required, mobile numbers and places previously visited.

The Lions ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme is a simple idea to encourage everyone to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form in a common location – the fridge. This scheme includes people with serious medical conditions such as life threatening allergies and not just the elderly.

Combining the two projects means vital and useful information is kept on one form in one location making it easy for responders dealing with an emergency.

The bottles are kept in the fridge and a sticker is placed on the inside of the front door and on the fridge door. The emergency services will then locate the bottle in the fridge and use the forms inside to quickly access information about that person’s routines, medical requirements and favourite places they have visited. This ensures people are treated quickly which can save time and lives.

The Lions have provided 6000 ‘bottles’ which have been funded by Oadby and Wigston Community Safety Partnership and a local sponsor, and can be picked up for free from any police station or front enquiry desk across the force area.

Inspector Mike Cawley, Commander of South Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area, said; “This is a simple idea to encourage everyone to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form in a common location – the fridge. We work very closely with Oadby and Wigston Borough Council and I’m really grateful to them and the local Lions Club for their support in getting this scheme rolled out across our area as well as the whole force. This scheme can save lives so I’d urge people to pick up a bottle and fill in the form.”

Thanks to funding from Oadby and Wigston Community Safety Partnership match funded by a local business, The Lions the bottles can be picked up free of charge from any police station in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Local beat teams will also be distributing them to local care homes.

The Chairman of Oadby and Wigston Community Safety Partnership, Kevin Loydall, said; “As Chairman of the Community Safety Partnership, I am delighted that we have been able to join forces with the Police and Oadby and Wigston Lions, to bring forward such a valuable scheme that has the potential to help many people and even save lives. "

Richard Darlaston, President of the Oadby and Wigston Lions Club said; “The Oadby and Wigston Lions are proud to be associated and involved in supporting the Leicestershire Police Force with the Herbert Protocol initiative.

“We believe by simply completing the Message in a Bottle form providing essential information about a family member, loved one or neighbour who suffers with dementia or Alzheimer's  will save vital time in the event they go missing from their home.

“The information provided will enable the authorities to focus their search ensuring loved ones are reunited with their family and friends  more quickly causing the minimal amount of stress and disruption to the individual concerned.

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