A PIONEERING scheme to provide emergency services with life-saving information has been uncorked!

Message in a Bottle has been launched by Ramsbottom and Tottington based Peel Lions Club and is the first scheme of its kind in Greater Manchester and one of the first in the country. It is aimed at the elderly in the borough, the vulnerable and people living alone.

Medical details of individuals and contact numbers are stored in the home in a plastic container which is the "bottle". This will reveal vital details such as illnesses or allergies to enable medical teams to administer emergency aid quickly should the patient be unable to give help them with the information. The "bottle" is kept in the fridge, a place the group feel is easily located.

Two small stickers, unique to the scheme and known to the emergency services and other supporting organisations, are placed in the house. These are put on the fridge door and inside the house close to the front door to alert paramedics. President of the Peel Lions Club, Mr Alec Sutcliffe, said: "The scheme has the full support of the ambulance service, the fire service, Greater Manchester Police, Bury North Primary Care Group, Bury Social Services, Home Watch, and pharmacists in Tottington and Ramsbottom.

"The information in the bottle will help to ensure that the correct medical treatment or help is given to the individual without delay."

The bottles are available free of charge at health centres, doctors surgeries and chemists throughout Tottington and Ramsbottom. The Peel Lions Club, which is co-ordinating the project, will re-stock the bottles on a regular basis.

Mr Sutcliffe said: "Neighbouring Lions clubs have shown great interest in the scheme and people living in Bury who wish to obtain a bottle should contact Mr Mike Davis at Bury Lions Club on 0161 797 4488."

Mr Jimmy Hill, Peel Lion's welfare chairman, added: "I hope that we encourage as many people as possible from our area to take advantage of this superb scheme and to call in at their doctors or local chemist to obtain a bottle.

"Many thanks go to the emergency services and caring agencies for their support and we hope that the information contained in the bottle will provide them with vital information that will assist them in the duties."

Anyone experiencing difficulty in getting a bottle should telephone Jimmy Hill 0161 797 6227; Dave Galway on 01204596161.