Over the past decade and a half the SOS Bus, located at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road, in Norwich has helped more than 11,500 people. Now the volunteer run service is asking for your help in keeping the service running.
With the busy season of Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year’s Eve fast approaching, the SOS Bus needs more volunteers to maintain the support of people who find themselves at risk whilst out in the city on Friday and Saturday nights.
Jenny Smith, SOS Bus co-ordinator, said: “Without volunteers the SOS Bus wouldn’t be able to provide such a vital resource to the bustling nightlife In Norwich city centre. If anyone is interested in volunteering for us, particularly those who could help with driving, then we would love to hear from you.”
“Our volunteers act as the first point of contact for those whose well-being is threatened by an inability to get home, illness or injury, emotional distress or other vulnerability. The SOS Bus and medical unit have saved over 1,500 A&E admissions since 2008, and a cost saving of over £250,000 per year in ambulance visits to A&E.”
The pioneering SOS Bus project which is run by the OPEN Youth Trust was launched out of tragedy in 2001 following the river deaths of James Toms and Nick Green in the city and continues to be at the forefront of major incidents in the city, including the recent fatal stabbing in Rose Lane.
The SOS Bus is made up of a large bus where those who find themselves in need can access first aid and a safe environment and advice (provided by St John Ambulance and support volunteers) as well as a fully-stocked medical unit (run by paramedics) and a mini-bus for transport support.
Anyone who can help the project by committing to at least one shift per month should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 252116.