MONAGHAN LIONS MESSAGE IN BOTTLE

Monaghan Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Monaghan Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

BLAYNEY BLADES WITH MONAGHAN LIONS CLUB LAUNCH “MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE” SCHEME 

A new initiative designed to help emergency services access important medical and personal information quickly when they arrive at the scene of a medical crisis has been unveiled by Blayney Blades at the Íontas Centre, Castleblayney. The Message in a Bottle scheme was launched as part of social inclusion week. Monaghan Lions Club are providing the bottles free of charge. Michael Fisher of Monaghan Lions Club officiated at the launch.

Message in a Bottle Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle is an emergency information scheme which includes a Personal Information Form (PIF) containing accurate relevant medical and other information. The green cross stickers alert emergency services to the fact that information about a patient is stored in a plastic bottle which is kept in the fridge. This is the safest storage place in the house in the event of a fire. Vulnerable people or those with a medical condition can enter their details on the form which is inside the bottle. It can also include a photograph, health details, emergency contact, and doctor, where there are pets that need looking after and much more which will assist the emergency services.

Message in a Bottle  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

By stating whether the patient has special medication or allergies etc., it is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to the user and their friends and families. With the bottle come three green stickers, one for inside the front door, one for inside the back door and one for the fridge door.

The Emergency Services will see them and know there is additional vital information available and where it is stored. The scheme which is supported by the Lions Clubs of Ireland has been successfully rolled out in many parts of the country and in Britain. So far it has proved to be of immense value to the emergency services and its users.

Message in a Bottle Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

To get your FREE Message in a Bottle pack contact Blayney Blades at (042) 9753410/11/12 or email: blayneyblades@gmail.com or on facebook.

 

 

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: LIONS

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a bottle: a simple and potentially life-saving idea which has been successfully promoted in recent years by Lions Clubs throughout Ireland and Britain. Belfast Lions Club attended for the third year running a winter safety event organised by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership at the City Hall. Around 200 bottles were distributed, the last of our current stock.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Since it was re-formed the Club has handed out around 2500 bottles to people who have hopefully stored their medical details safely in a fridge at home, so that emergency services can get immediate access to this information if required. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service along with ambulance service paramedics (they are often the first responders to an emergency call) and the PSNI have all recognised the value of the scheme and have given it their support.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Club hopes that as a result of contacts made at today’s event, it will hopefully be in a position to relaunch the scheme with the support of the PSNI community safety units and Belfast City Council early in the New Year. If your organisation is involved with care of the elderly or those living alone and you would like to have more details of the scheme, please contact us at the following address:  belfast.lions@aol.co.uk and we will discuss your requirements.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Our regular meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm at the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road, Belfast. There is a meeting tonight but the next one will not be until Wednesday 8th January 2014. As well as the message in a bottle scheme, the Club is co-operating with Belfast City Council and Extern in the recycling of unwanted spectacles.

Collecting unwanted spectacles for recycling Photo: © Michael Fisher

Collecting unwanted spectacles for recycling Photo: © Michael Fisher

A box was provided at today’s event. A blue bin is located at each of the council’s four recycling centres specifically for old pairs of glasses. These are collected and sent to a central depot run by Chichester Lions Club in England. They are then recycled and can be reused in countries where there is a need for eye care in Asia and Africa. They have operated the scheme successfully for over thirty years.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Tonight at our meeting of Belfast Lions Club we welcomed two expat Lions from Spain, who showed us the international aspect of our Lions community. Ray Jones, a Welshman and former member of Huntingdon Lions Club in England was accompanied by his wife Zelda, who is originally from Belfast. They told us about a number of activities their Club has undertaken.

Zelda & Ray Jones Vera Lions Club are presented with an Antrim Lions pennant by Lion President Karen McCormack  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Zelda & Ray Jones Vera Lions Club are presented with an Antrim Lions pennant by Lion President Karen McCormack                Photo: © Michael Fisher

They are staying in Lisburn and will be returning to Spain for Christmas. Both are charter members of Vera and District Lions Club which is near Almeria on the South-East coast of Spain. The Club started meeting in 2011 and had their charter dinner in 2012. At the end of the meeting Lion President Karen McCormick presented them with an Antrim Lions Club pennant and they presented us with one from Vera Lions Club. Delighted you dropped in to meet us and thank you for the encouragement you have given as we seek to recruit new members.

Charter Dinner Vera Lions Club, Spain (club website)

Charter Dinner Vera Lions Club, Spain (club website)

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

One of the projects I had in mind when Belfast Lions Club was revived three years ago was the ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme which I had been encouraged to adopt by Dan Hurst of Dún Laoghaire Lions. With their help, the Club took on the scheme as its first service project. It provides a potentially life-saving object, a bottle with a form inside carrying a person’s medical details, for those most in need, such as elederly people living on their own. The bottle is placed in the refrigerator and a special green sticker is stuck on the door and near the front door in order to alert emergency services such as paramedics that this important information is safely stored inside.  LCI emblem_2C_287+7406

Belfast Lions Club with the help of its parent club, Antrim Lions, acquired the bottles from England, using some of the funds raised during a table quiz in May 2011. In December 2011 the Club was invited to share the PSNI community safety stand at the Policing and Community Safety Partnership annual winter safety event at Belfast City Hall. The Club took its own stand at the same event the following year and in that period distributed 2,000 bottles to individuals either directly or with the help of groups such as the Cedar Foundation, Good Morning North Belfast and Good Morning West Belfast.

Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

This year the event takes place again at BELFAST CITY HALL from 10am to 1pm tomorrow, Wednesday 4th December. There will also be a meeting of Belfast Lions Club at 7:30pm at the Wellington Park hotel for anyone interested in hearing about our projects for 2014. These will hopefully include a new and extended phase of the message in a bottle project and fund-raising initiatives on behalf of Diabetes UK (NI) and Marie Curie cancer care (Great Daffodil Appeal). We also hope to continue to collect unwanted spectacles with the help of Belfast City Council and to send them to the depot operated by Chichester Lions Club in England for re-use in developing countries. Tomorrow at Belfast City Hall we will have a box for collecting pairs of unwanted glasses (but not the spectacle cases).

Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

My hopes for the Belfast Lions Club of which I am now Secretary were set out in a speech to the Multiple District 105 annual convention at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast in May 2011 when Councillor Pat Convery was Lord Mayor:

Michael Fisher, Belfast Lions Club & Cllr Pat Convery, Lord Mayor of Belfast (May 2011)

Michael Fisher, Belfast Lions Club & Cllr Pat Convery, Lord Mayor of Belfast (May 2011)

“Lord Mayor, Chairman of Council, International President, other distinguished guests, and fellow Lions. First I would like to thank District Governor Terence Mangan for asking me to perform this task. I am privileged to do so and it is with a certain amount of nervousness but also pride that I now welcome you, Councillor Pat Convery. Like yourself, I am a blow-in, who has been here only 26 years or so. Whereas you came from another part of NI, County Derry, I came from Dublin to cover the troubles for RTÉ News as a TV reporter. Both of us, I hope have come to admire this city which forty years ago was torn apart by violence and now seeks a new way forward in peaceful times. “Pro tanto quid retribuamus” is the motto: In return for so much, what shall we give back. A very appropriate one also for Lions, whose  function as a voluntary group is service to the community. That service was inspired in this city since 1958 by a businessman who many of you will remember, Bert Mason. He has a special place in Lions history as he went on to become International President in 1984. He was a founder member of the Belfast Lions Club, the third in this district to be chartered after Dublin and Cork. One of their first schemes was a meals on wheels service in East Belfast, which was later extended to other areas. From a small beginning a significant structure was built and lasted for over forty years.

Bert who came from Donaghadee passed to his eternal reward in 2007. It was his view that Lionism is one of the greatest unifying forces in the world, bringing together people from different cultures, politics and religions, all answering the call to serve.

I hope that spirit he spoke about will live on in the revived Belfast Lions Club. We were set up in February and our first public fundraising event was two days ago, a table quiz which has brought in over £1,000 to start our work of service. Various projects will now be considered such as the message in a bottle scheme and the collection of unused spectacles. There is also the service of a soup run performed at weekends by one of our members, helping the homeless, especially those from abroad. It’s the other face of Belfast but one to which this club must reach out if we are to live up to the early ideals of its predecessor. If there is any practical way in which we can work with Belfast City Council on some of the schemes then we would be interested to discuss this at some stage.

During your year of office you have focused on making Belfast a safe, clean, prosperous and a united city and attempted to revitalise it. I hope Belfast Lions will now be able to make a contribution to those important goals. I now call on you Lord Mayor to open formally the convention of multiple district 105, British Isles & Ireland”.