Daytime stop will highlight work of Norwich’s SOS bus

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 June 2011

Some of the team - SOS Bus on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich on a Saturday night.

Some of the team - SOS Bus on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich on a Saturday night.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Norwich’s life-saving SOS Bus is normally only seen on the streets at night, but it will be making a daytime visit to the city next month in order to highlight the pioneering project.

Since it was set up in April 2001 following the river deaths of Nick Green, 16, and James Toms, 21, the pioneering scheme, which was set up as a safe haven for the drunk and vulnerable, has helped a total of almost 6,500 people.

And now, visitors to the city on Saturday, July 2, are to be given the chance to learn more about its work – and even volunteer themselves – when the bus makes an all-day stop at The Forum.

Sarah Mintey, principal of the Open Youth Trust which manages and runs the bus, said it was hoped the event would “showcase and make a spectacle of the bus in the best sense”.

She said: “Come down and find out more is the message. We hope to see a lot of people there and if anyone’s interested in volunteering, particularly as a driver, come down and say hello.”

A number of the volunteers who work on the bus will be at the event, which runs from 10am until 5.30pm, as will young members of the Trust, who will be putting on a performance outside the bus.

Also attending the event will be a group of former City of Norwich School sixth formers, who will be taking part in a five-day charity bike ride from Norwich to Amsterdam and back on July 7 in aid of the bus after it came to the aid of their friend. John Stanford, 20, from Eaton, was celebrating on New Year’s Eve with a group of friends when he fell down a flight of stairs at Essence bar on Prince of Wales Road.

John, who spent more than a week in a coma because his injuries were so severe, was helped by volunteers on the bus who were among the first on the scene and is now making a remarkable recovery.

To find out more about the SOS Bus project or how you can donate or volunteer, call 01603 763111.

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