Norwich SOS bus calls for more volunteers

A familiar sight on the city's streets parked up outside The Forum on Saturday as it raised money for its life-saving work.

The bright yellow SOS bus was in a prime place as a whole host of entertainment was put on by the Open Youth Trust, which manages and runs it.

Acoustic performer Kieran, rappers Soldier A and Frost D, and break dancers all performed as the service tried to find more volunteers and take donations.

Alongside them was a group of close friends who on Thursday will begin a return cycle ride to Amsterdam to say thank you to the service.

Rob Harper, Jordan Butler, Sam Spaul, Andrew Marjoram, Greg Lochhead, Dan Nichols, Michael Bates, Daniel Knevitt and Freddie Beckett are cycling 255 miles to raise �3,000, after the team helped save their friend John Stanford.

On New Year's Eve the former City of Norwich School sixth formers were out with John, from Eaton, when he fell down a flight of stairs at Essence bar on Prince of Wales Road.

He spent over a week in a coma and is waiting for an operation to put a titanium plate in his head, but owes his life to the SOS bus team who were first on the scene.

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His friend Rob Harper said they wanted to show their appreciation.

'The swift action of all the guys here from the SOS helped to save his life,' he said.

On Saturday John met the SOS crew for the first time since they helped him and was able to tell them that he is back at work and on his way to recovery.

John, 20, said that he was disappointed that he was unable to take part, but was really happy his friends were helping a cause he had previously overlooked.

'I had walked past a lot of times, but never thought about it. It was just a yellow bus that was out on Friday and Saturday, and I never thought I would need it,' he added.

'I am so grateful to the SOS bus, if they were not there who knows what would have happened.'

The pioneering SOS scheme was set up in April 2001 to act as a safe haven for the drunk and vulnerable at night.

To find out more about the project call 01603 763111. To donate to the cycle ride visit sos-savedourstanners

Are you doing something for charity? Call Richard Wood on 01603 772434.