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Libraries roll out Message in a Bottle scheme

Schemes to support elderly and vulnerable adopted by county council

Libraries across Leicestershire are promoting the Message in a Bottle scheme
Glenfield Library is one of 16 county council libraries promoting the scheme. Pictured from l-r are Sue Wesley, Gillian Wright and Kim Wallis

Two schemes to ensure elderly and vulnerable people are safe in a medical emergency are being promoted in libraries across the county.

We have adopted the Message in a Bottle scheme, which is run by The Lions and also promoted by Leicestershire Police, which encourages people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form in a bottle, in the fridge.

Alongside this, we are promoting the Herbert Protocol, which encourages family, friends and carers to put together useful information on a separate form, in the event of a vulnerable person going missing. 

We have bought 6,000 bottles from the police and will be placing around 500 of them in each of its libraries across the county for those in need. They can be used by people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, chronic allergies or other vulnerabilities.

The bottles, which are free of charge, contain a form to be completed by individuals or their carers to record their essential personal and medical details. The bottles are then put in the fridge and a green cross sticker is placed on the inside of the front door and on the fridge door.

Paramedics, police, firefighters and social services will then be able to quickly locate the bottle and access the person’s details – ensuring that people are treated quickly which can save lives, while the details entered on the Herbert Protocol form reduces the time taken in gathering information, making it easier for the emergency services.


This is a fantastic scheme and I’m delighted that our libraries are getting involved and stocking the bottles and the Herbert Protocol forms for those in the community. 

“Not only does it help the elderly and vulnerable across the county live independently at home, it also gives the carers or family members, who may not live with the person they care for, peace of mind. 

“It’s the reason why we ordered 6,000 bottles from the police and are working with partners and agencies to distribute them to those in need.


The bottles will not just be available in libraries for residents to pick up. They can be picked up for free from any police station which has a front enquiry desk across the force or your local Lions Club.

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