Bosses of Norwich’s pioneering SOS Bus have been ‘bowled over’ by generosity of donations in memory of popular teenager

The SOS Bus team.

The SOS Bus team. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

It was a selfless gesture in memory of a much-loved sports-loving teenager which has helped provide a further boost to Norwich's life-saving SOS Bus.

Jeff and Lucy Nurse on their wedding day in Norwich. PIC: Brent Peeling.

Jeff and Lucy Nurse on their wedding day in Norwich. PIC: Brent Peeling. - Credit: Archant

Lee 'Thomo' Thompson, 17, was walking home when he was struck by a car on the B1113 Mulbarton road, on the outskirts of the city.

The former Hethersett High School pupil, who played for Hethersett Athletic, died following the crash which happened in January 1999.

His aunt Lucy Nurse and new husband Jeff donated money from their wedding last month to Norwich's SOS Bus which they wished had been around on the night of his death.

The pioneering bus, which is a safe haven for pub and club-goers, was introduced in 2001 - two years after Lee's death - following the river deaths of Nick Green, 16, and James Toms, 21, in the city.

Lee Thompson tribute 1999

Lee Thompson tribute 1999 - Credit: Nick Butcher

Mr and Mrs Nurse believe the teenager might have been helped by the bus had it been around in 1999.

The couple donated £740 raised at their wedding, held at Norwich Castle in July, to the bus project.

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But their kind donation has led to even more money being raised for the bus, which operates in the city's clubland area every Friday and Saturday night.

Mr Nurse, a lorry driver, said as a 'direct result' of reading the article which featured in the paper earlier this month they received further donations of £80.

That has been followed by a separate pledge from Hethersett District Lions Club which has donated £500 directly to the SOS Bus following the article.

The letter stated: 'Several of our members knew Lee and his Mulbarton family and it brought to our attention that perhaps we could support the SOS Bus and the valuable work that is does to help mainly youngsters who get themselves into problems whilst enjoying the city's nightlife.'

Mr Nurse, 54, from Mulbarton, said the money now raised in Lee's name was an 'amazing' £1340 and thanked the paper for highlighting the story.

Jenny Smith, SOS Bus co-ordinator, said: 'We have been bowled over by the additional generosity of the members from Hethersett District Lions for their donation to the SOS Bus. Without these donations and support we would be unable to continue to assist people who find themselves in a vulnerable situation at the weekends.'

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