Norwich’s lifesaving bus issues SOS for volunteers

SOS Bus on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich on a Saturday night.

SOS Bus on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich on a Saturday night. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

A lifeline for clubbers in need of help after a night out in the city has today issued an SOS of its own - for help to enable it to continue its vital work.

The bus was launched as a place of safety for pub and club-goers after the river deaths of Nick Green, 16, and James Toms, 21, in the city in 2001.

But bosses of the bus have today launched a plea for help to find more volunteer drivers in order to keep the safe haven operating on the streets in the weeks and months ahead.

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

'Anyone who volunteers for the bus feels that they are doing something of value to help the local community and make Norwich a safer place for those out and about in the city during Friday and Saturday nights. Therefore we would love to hear from anyone who feels they could help in either role to just give me a call.'

A similar plea was last year issued for volunteers after numbers dropped so low that it stopped the service being able to go out into the city's clubland.

That appeal was met with an 'overwhelming response' which was praised by the team at the Open Youth Trust which manages the bus.

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Speaking at the time a spokesman said: 'We've had a really good response from the community wanting to volunteer for the SOS Bus.

'We have already taken on nearly a dozen new volunteers as a result of our plea for more volunteers last year, with more applications in the pipeline. 'We know from the feedback we've received from families and friends of those who have used the service, just what an important life line the bus is for the night time economy of Norwich, something which wouldn't be there without volunteers'.

The SOS Bus provides a safe haven for anyone out in Norwich's club land at weekends, and is on the lookout for volunteer drivers, to be part of the team with driving the SOS Bus and support vehicles.

Bus bosses now want to hear from anyone interested in getting involved as a volunteer driver for the SOS Bus needs to 25 or over, with two years driving experience and ideally have a full clean driving licence.

They are also looking for a volunteer trainer, ideally someone with qualifications and experience in driving buses or HGV sized vehicles who would be willing to assist with training up a team to drive.

Anyone interested in getting involved in either role should give me a call on 01603 252116 or drop me an email at

For further information about the SOS Bus and to find out how to support the charity, please call 01603 252112 or visit To make a donation to the SOS Bus please visit

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