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Message in a Bottle for Eden residents

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Message in a Bottle for Eden residents


Published by Tracey Errington for Eden Housing Association Limited in Communities and also in Health, Housing

The Lions ‘message in a bottle’ scheme is being rolled out by Eden Housing Association. They have just taken delivery of the first batch of bottles which will be offered to residents and Eden Independent Living  clients.

The message in a bottle is a simple idea which enables people to keep personal medical details safe in one place – the fridge. Each bottle contains a standard form to list medicines, allergies and a contact number for emergencies, plus two stickers – one for the fridge and one to go inside the front door, which will alert visiting emergency services.

Eden Independent Living Co-ordinator Jenny Soulsby met with Peter Goodwin who organises the Message in a Bottle campaign for the Lions Club of Penrith and arranged a delivery of 400 bottles to Eden Housing Association.

Peter Goodwin said “time is the enemy”, so having a system in place that makes it quicker for the emergency services to provide prompt and effective treatment and notify next of kin can only be beneficial. Our local emergency services are aware of the scheme”

Jenny Soulsby Co-ordinator for Eden Housing Association’s Independent Living service said “the bottles have arrived and we’re passing them on to tenants in supported housing accommodation and to those who use the Eden Independent Living service. Tucked away in the fridge, the bottles act as hidden reassurance, especially for family and friends; so if there is an emergency situation at home, the emergency services can act quickly.

Eden Independent Living is an umbrella service which provides a wide range of care, support and practical help for people in Eden. It includes reviewing available support options, fitting care alarms and organising home care packages plus  gardening and handy person services. Their one-stop-shop approach makes it easier for people to find help they need to remain independent at home and the message in a bottle scheme is the most recent addition.

The bottles are also being passed on to Eden County Care who deliver part of our Independent Living Service and who work with their own vulnerable clients in the community.”

The message in a bottle campaign was started in 2000 by the Lions Club of Kendal and has spread across the country ever since. In 2011 the Lions of Penrith re-energised the scheme, raising money to ensure the bottles can be offered free of charge. There are now over 4000 bottles in Cumbria. Eden Housing Association has just increased the Cumbrian volume by 10%.

Anyone can have an accident at home, so these bottles are useful for all. Details are often on display in local GP's surgery, pharmacies and bottles are also available from the Lions Club of Penrith.

To find out about any support services available from the Eden Independent Living team contact Jenny Soulsby on 01768  861 468 or visit


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