Message in a Bottle – Summer 2016

Report by Neil Beattie, May 2016

logoLaunched one year ago, Message in a Bottle, a cooperative project organized firstly through our Rotary Cluster with the Rotary Clubs of Alloway, Ayr, Girvan, Prestwick and Troon, and eventually including the Ayr and Prestwick Lions, has now distributed over 10,000 bottles through over 100 outlets across South Ayrshire. Vulnerable people given our bottles, an Emergency Information Scheme, are enjoying an increase in both their physical and mental security.

MIAB_june2016Bottles are being given out at all the GP Surgeries, Dental Surgeries and Community Pharmacies in South Ayrshire with the relevant Ayr Hospital. Ailsa Hospital, Arrol Park, Biggart Hospital and Girvan Hospital Departments.  South Ayrshire has a thriving voluntary sector who are also major distributors, and the local authority services are playing their part with the Rehab Classes and all 11 Libraries participating in a big way.

The initial funding of the project came from the Rotary Clubs with a small Council Grant, but the unexpectedly rapid progress of the scheme has required urgent refunding. Generous individual Rotarians and the Clubs then contributed £1700 to let us re-supply with 10,000 more bottles which are already being used.

The Rotary Club of Ayr is the lead club in this project and holds the stock of materials pre-distribution, but each Club supplies the outlets in its own area.  We are most grateful to Iannotti Brothers of Ayr for allowing us to use their warehouse for storage.

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

It is hoped that a similar scheme may soon be launched in East Ayrshire and a presentation will be made to this year’s District 1230 Conference.