Mayo Gardai have partnered with the Ballina Lions Club to launch the "Message in a Bottle" initiative - to assist elderly and vulnerable people living alone.
It's a simple idea that involves a person being given a plastic container in the shape of a bottle, which includes a personal information form and three green cross stickers.
The form is completed by the person or a family member or Garda, and is enclosed in the bottle and kept in the person's fridge, while the stickers are placed on the inside of both the front and back doors, and on the fridge door.
In the event of an accident or incident in the home, emergency services will be alerted to the bottle by the stickers on the doors, and the bottle can then be retrieved from the fridge, providing invaluable information such as the person's medical history, medications, allergies and next of kin.
The Message in a Bottle project was initiated by the Ballina Lions Club three years ago, and the club is now partnering with Gardai to roll out the initiative across Ballina and Belmullet in the coming months.
Gardai have secured funding to purchase 3,000 message in a bottle containers.
Supt Joe Doherty is Ballina Garda Station says that, as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, Gardai are as committed as ever to identifying and assisting the most vulnerable people in our communities.