SOS Bus service to resume – but with reduced capacity and requests to ‘stay safe and be responsible’
We can confirm that the SOS Bus will start operating again on Saturday nights starting 18 July 2020, (9.30pm-3am). It will not be operating on Friday nights.
Beth Williams, SOS Bus Development Manager, says: ‘Our volunteer capacity has been reduced by over 50% with many of our usual volunteers unable to help at this time because of work, family or health reasons, so it has put additional pressure on our remaining volunteers. We have always known our volunteers were an incredible bunch, but their willingness to step forward now, with most of them doing extra shifts in this difficult time, is truly exceptional.
The SOS Bus will be operating with a full paramedic and first aid service, although social distancing requirements mean that capacity on the Bus is significantly reduced and only two clients can be seen at any one time. In addition the SOS minibus support vehicle, which goes out to clients across the city, will not be operating. Anyone needing assistance should walk to the main SOS Bus which will be in its usual location at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road or preferably call the SOS Bus in advance 07833 505505 to check there is capacity on the Bus to attend to their needs.
‘This will be the first shift we have done since Covid-19 and we will be monitoring everything extremely carefully to ensure volunteers, staff and clients are as safe as they possibly can be.’ adds Beth. ‘However, while we can ensure safety protocols are in place, we cannot predict the number or level of need of the clients who come to us. So if we feel that the environment on the Bus is not safe, then we may have to review the decision to run the service in the immediate future.
‘We are asking people visiting Norwich on Saturday night to stay safe, be responsible and take care of yourself and your friends, so we can take care of others.’