The Kilkenny Lions Club “Message in a Bottle” Project was recently launched by Mr. Nickey Brennan (Chairman Kilkenny Age Friendly) and the Mayor, Cllr. David Fitzgerald, at a function in City Hall.
The project is aimed at older people living alone and those who are housebound or debilitated through ill health. Any person who participates is given a customised plastic bottle, complete with personal information form and three self adhesive Emergency Labels which indicate that the householder is participating in the project. Participants are requested to record their basic personal and medical details on the form, put the completed form into the bottle, place the bottle on a fridge shelf, and attach the adhesive stickers one to the fridge door and one each to the inside of the front and back doors.
If necessary, the information can then be quickly accessed by the emergency services and the time saved in accessing this vital information could make the difference between life and death.
Kilkenny Lions are encouraging as many community groups as possible to assist in making people aware of this emergency information project. With the help of local doctors, pharmacists, the H.S.E., the Fire and Ambulance services, the Gardai, Kilkenny Local Authorities, Kilkenny Contact, Kilkenny Age Friendly, the Carer’s Association, Kilkenny Leader Partnership, local churches, bridge clubs and any other interested group, the Lions club are confident that this project will be a major success.
In launching the project, Nickey Brennan on behalf of the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Programme warmly welcomed this wonderful initiative from the Kilkenny Lions Club. “It is a fact of life that many people in advanced years require assistance and we can never know who might be on hand to provide that help,” he said.
“The message in a bottle project is a wonderful concept and ensures that the personal and medical details of everyone requiring help are known to those providing the assistance. Having that information at close hand will help to ensure that the appropriate assistance is provided and the next-of-kin are informed as quickly as possible.
I will ensure that this excellent project by the Kilkenny Lions club is publicised and promoted through the many stakeholders who form the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Programme,” he added.
Mayor David Fitzgerald referred to the excellent community work carried out by Kilkenny Lions and this was another community project they can be proud of and that the people of Kilkenny can be so thankful for. He encouraged people to avail of the scheme especially elderly people.
John Ormond, President Kilkenny Lions, thanked his committee, especially Lion member Maeve O’ Flynn who worked tirelessly over the last few months in developing this emergency information scheme which is free of charge and which will provide invaluable information to the emergency services. The Lions club is delighted to roll out this Community program in Kilkenny. The experience from other clubs, that already have launched this initiative, is very positive and the success is dependant on the support and participation of everybody here today. We are confident and reassured of this support and the potential this effort has to save lives.
Maeve O’ Flynn, Project Chairperson thanked all those who helped in bringing this project to fruition and that the next challenge is to make this free emergency scheme available to as many people as possible. Maeve also extended her gratitude to the Pharmaceutical company, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Carlow, who have endorsed this project and have kindly given some funding towards the administration of the project and Kilkenny Lions deeply appreciates this funding. She also thanked Loreto teacher, Ms. Karen Murphy, who coordinated the transition year students who assisted in assembling and bagging all the bottles