Message in a Bottle, South Ayrshire, Christmas Report 2015

Only eight months after its launch, Message in a Bottle has achieved much more than we ever dreamt of that day in April in the County Hall.  After about a year of planning, the Rotary Clubs of Alloway, Ayr, Girvan, Prestwick and Troon, with the Ayr and Prestwick Lions, had presented our Emergency Information Scheme to the relevant emergency, health, social work and voluntary professionals and since then have received their enthusiastic support.

Already our first 10,000 bottles are almost completely distributed and we have just received our second supply of 10,000 bottles.  Some of these have already been given out to our distributing partners.  Over South Ayrshire we now have over 100 points where vulnerable people will be given our bottles increasing both their physical and mental security.  Virtually all the GP Surgeries, Dental Surgeries and Community Pharmacies are taking part together with the relevant Ayr Hospital. Ailsa Hospital, Arrol Park, Biggart Hospital and Girvan Hospital Departments.  South Ayrshire has a thriving voluntary sector who are major distributors and the local authority services are playing their part with the Rehab Classes and all 15 Libraries participating in a big way.

Douglas, Gus and John in Iannotti Bros allocating MiaB inserts on a cold wet Saturday morning. Photo courtesy Neil

Douglas, Gus and John in Iannotti Bros allocating MiaB inserts on a cold wet Saturday morning. Photo courtesy Neil

The initial funding of the project came from the Rotary Clubs with a small Council Grant, but the rapid progress of the scheme nearly caught us out as we suddenly realised that we urgently needed more bottles or else MiaB might stall. Generous individual Rotarians and the Clubs then contributed £1700 to let us re-supply with 10,000 more bottles which should hopefully last for a few years.  These are now in process of being packed for use, and we are most grateful to Iannotti Brothers of Ayr for allowing us to use their warehouse for storage.  Financial support has also come from our neighbouring Rotary Clubs of Cumnock and Stranraer.

Message in a Bottle is a wonderful example of co-operation between the Emergency Services, our 5 Rotary Clubs, the Lions, health professionals, social services, the voluntary sector, and local authority services. It was nearly a victim of its own success, but is now again on secure ground thanks to all who contributed to our refunding exercise.

Message in a Bottle is a significant contributor to community safety across South Ayrshire, and we are extremely grateful to all those many people who make it work.