Norwich’s night-time saviours join Community Chest

The SOS Bus team who are taking part in the EDP Community Chest.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The SOS Bus team who are taking part in the EDP Community Chest.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

It is the bus that acts as a safe haven to people who have over-indulged in weekend celebrations.

The team of volunteers give up their Friday and Saturday nights to care for the city's drinkers and are hoping to continue their services with a cash grant.

The SOS Bus offers flip flops to barefoot passersby, medical care and water to those that have over indulged on Prince of Wales Road.

Set up after the tragic death of two teenagers, who were found in the river in 2000, it is now the first port of call for anyone unable to get home, suffering from illness or injury or experiencing emotional distress.

Jenny Smith, SOS Bus coordinator, said: 'The SOS Bus is vital to the night time economy. It helps to alleviate the pressure on the other emergency services and we know from feedback that we have received from family and friends of those who have used the bus, how vital it has been and in some instances its presence has saved lives.'

Taking part in the Eastern Daily Press' Community Chest campaign, in association with the Norfolk Community Foundation, they are hoping to receive a piece of the £100,000 giveaway.

Ms Smith, added: 'All donations received will go towards enabling the SOS bus to continue to provide the enhanced service.'

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Money also helps to fund refreshments that keep volunteers warm in the cold winter months.

Between 9pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, the bus and its volunteers - both beacons of yellow - are parked on Prince of Wales Road.

For more information, rules and an entry form visit www.edp24.co.uk/communitychest

- Anyone who wants to donate their tokens to the SOS Bus needs to send them/give them to Jenny Smith, SOS Bus co-ordinator at Open Norwich, 20 Bank Plain, Norwich, NR2 4SF.

- Share your story, email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk