Norwich clubland lifeline bus needs £6,000 to keep it running ahead of Christmas

Norwich's SOS Bus. Picture: Archant Library

Norwich's SOS Bus. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

A late-night lifeline which has helped more than 11,500 people in need in the city's clubland is appealing for a helping hand to keep it running.

Norwich's SOS Bus. Picture: Archant Library

Norwich's SOS Bus. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

Over the last 15 years, the SOS Bus, which is based at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road, has helped more than 11,500 people.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, the bus needs to raise cash to keep its vehicles on the road, so it can continue to help people who find themselves at risk while out in the city on Friday and Saturday nights.

Jenny Smith, SOS Bus co-ordinator, said: 'Without the SOS Bus we wouldn't be able to provide such a vital resource to the bustling nightlife In Norwich city centre.

'We need to raise at least £6,000 to pay for essential maintenance of the vehicles so any donation that people can make no matter how large or small will be very gratefully received.

'The SOS Bus is 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 more than 1,500 A&E admissions since 2008, and a cost saving of over £250,000 per year in ambulance visits to A&E.'

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The service is a large bus where those in need can access a safe environment, first aid and advice provided by St John Ambulance and support volunteers, a fully-stocked medical unit and a mini-bus for transport support.

The scheme, which is run by the OPEN Youth Trust, was launched in 2001 after the deaths of James Toms, 21, and Nick Green, 16.

Mr Green went missing following a night out in Norwich in January of that year to celebrate his impending 17th birthday. His body was recovered from the River Yare a month later.

Mr Toms' body was pulled out from the same stretch of river three months earlier following a night out.

The SOS Bus volunteers will be collecting donations outside City Hall on Saturday, December 1 from 10am to 2pm.

People can also donate by visiting the SOS Bus Facebook page or clicking here.

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