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Downing Street trip for Norwich SOS Bus volunteer

PUBLISHED: 13:37 14 February 2011

The SOS Bus

The SOS Bus

Archant © 2008

A volunteer with Norwich's pioneering SOS Bus project has been invited to Downing Street to tell the Prime Minister and Home Secretary about its work.

SOS Bus volunteer Lynsey Eagle.

Lynsey Eagle, 27, from Mulbarton, will be going to Number 10 tomorrow with a delegation from Company magazine as part of its latest Get Home Safely campaign.

The meeting will be round table discussion about what can be done to make journeys home safer for young women, as part of a 12-year campaign.

She said: “It’s quite exciting and it’s nice to be able to represent Norwich. Hopefully it will raise some awareness of the SOS Bus and what it does.”

Sarah Mintey, from Open, which runs the SOS Bus, said: “Anything like this is brilliant for the project and we are delighted to have been invited.

“It will raise the profile of the work that we do.”

The bus, which is based in Prince of Wales Road on Friday and Saturday nights, was first launched in Norwich in 2001. Initially a six-month pilot, the pioneering scheme has been so successful that it has been rolled out to seven more towns and cities throughout the UK, including Blackburn, King’s Lynn, Milton Keynes and Portsmouth. In addition, its volunteers have been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Volunteering.

In May 2008, the then prime minister Gordon Brown gave his personal support to the SOS Bus project after phoning the scheme’s manager and then praising its work on national television.

Colin Lang, who was then manager of the project, was stunned when his mobile phone rang and it was a Downing Street aide saying Mr Brown wanted to have a one-to-one chat with him.

The pair spent about five minutes discussing the work of the bus and the potential for the scheme to be rolled out to many more cities.

The SOS Bus project is always on the lookout for volunteers and offers comprehensive training to anyone over the age of 18 who might be able to spare some time to help. For further information, please contact Jenny Smith on 01603 763111 or email sosbus@open247.org.uk.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk.

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