Norwich’s SOS Bus: Have your say!

SOS Bus on a shift

Have your say on Norwich’s SOS Bus

The NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (otherwise known as the ICB) are currently asking local people about their experiences are like or have been when they have accessed Norwich’s SOS Bus which can be found on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich.

They also want to know if you have used our new Wellness Hub at Castle Quarter. They are keen to understand what services matter the most to you.

You can take part in the survey by going to the following website:


What does Norwich’s SOS Bus do and how does it operate?

Currently the SOS Bus is run by Voluntary Norfolk. It is only possible thanks to some corporate donations, funding from Public Health Norfolk, occasional funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner and we at Voluntary Norfolk also subsidise the operating costs of the service. However, the major funder is the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (shortened to ICB).

It’s important to stress that at the moment no decisions have been made about any funding cuts as we understand it.

Voluntary Norfolk are absolutely passionate about the SOS Bus Service, but without this money from the ICB we would have to look at alternative sources of funding because otherwise it would simply not be viable for us to continue to run the service.

The ICB have begun an engagement exercise to get the feedback and views of people on the SOS Bus and the Wellness Hub at Castle Quarter. You can take part in the survey by going to the following website:

We would encourage people to respond to this survey to give the ICB a deeper understanding about the important role the SOS Bus plays in helping people and reducing pressures on the emergency services. We would be particularly keen to hear from anyone who has benefited from the SOS Bus Service.

It’s worth remembering that Norwich’s SOS doesn’t just offer medical support. It offers:

  • Water, flip flops, plasters
  • Phone charging
  • Taxi booking – get home safely
  • Safe place to wait
  • Advice on other services
  • and many other things

Most importantly for our public services, it takes pressure off emergency services at time when they’re under such pressure, notably our ambulance services, the A&E department at the N&N and the police.


  • What does Norwich’s SOS Bus do?

Norwich’s SOS Bus has been a feature of Norwich’s night-time economy for over twenty years

The SOS Bus is run by Voluntary Norfolk. It looks after the safety, health and well-being of people on night’s out in Norwich’s city centre at weekends.

Voluntary Norfolk are passionate about this service as part of our wider efforts to support people when they need help the most. The service offers a safe space with medical cover for anyone in emotional or physical distress.

The service aims to reduce unnecessary Accident and Emergency visits and ambulance call outs. It also tries to free up police officer time by looking after clients brought to the service by the police.

It also provides other help, such as free phone charging, bottled water, flip flops, advice.

Last year Norwich’s SOS Bus:

  1. helped almost 2500 people
  2. prevented more than 200 Accident and Emergency visits or ambulance callouts at a time when emergency services are already stretched
  3. 38 volunteers dedicated over 2,300 hours of their time to ensuring the bus ran effectively


How can YOU help?

Firstly (and most importantly) let the ICB, who are running the engagement exercise, know about what you think of the service. We’re especially keen to encourage people who have benefited from the service. So if you’ve received some advice, got a bottle of water or needed medical attention or mental health support, please fill in the survey.

You can take part in the survey by going to the following website:

SOS Bus and volunteersThe second thing people can do is volunteering for a session on board the bus on a Friday or Saturday night. Currently we have almost 40 volunteers but could always do with more.

On average the bus helps 33 people per shift. The SOS Bus provides bottled water, phone charging, flip flops, condoms, dry clothing, foil blankets, taxi contact lists, advice and signposting. Voluntary Norfolk’s SOS Bus service typically supports over 2,400 individuals a year. But the more volunteers we have the more people we can support when they need help the most.

The third thing people can do to help is donate to ensure the service remains viable. So if you would like to donate a small amount each month that would be amazing. Any monies received help ensure that this vital service that we are all so passionate about can continue. To do so go to our website: