SOS Bus Wins Prestigious Award!

The SOS Bus Service in Norwich is thrilled to have been named ‘Team/Community Group of the Year’ at the EDP’s Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards last week.

SOS Bus volunteers looking thrilled

SOS Bus volunteers won the best team/community group award.

The team said this recognition is a testament to the unwavering dedication and outstanding help provided by the SOS Bus staff and volunteers to people on nights out in Norwich over the last twelve months.

Norwich’s SOS Bus has been operating for more than 22 years. Voluntary Norfolk currently runs the service and volunteers staff it. Without these volunteers the service would not be able to function. The service operates during night-time hours to provide a safe haven for individuals at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, in the heart of the city’s late night economy zone.

The SOS Bus is also equipped with trained personnel and resources to assist those in need, ranging from first aid to mobile phone charging or the offer of bottles of water. The volunteers also provide help ensuring a safe journey home for those who may find themselves in challenging situations.

Last year the volunteers and staff helped approximately 2500 people. 28% of those were due to intoxication, with the remainder being due to medical conditions, mental health issues and injuries.

SOS Bus volunteers celebrating with their award

SOS Bus volunteers celebrating with their award at the start of a shift on Prince of Wales Road

What the award means to the SOS Bus team

Alan Hopley CEO of Voluntary Norfolk, which currently runs the service, said:

“I cannot overstate the importance of the SOS Bus Service. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing community safety and well-being on weekends throughout the year, preventing extra strains on already stretched emergency services. The bus offers a non-judgmental space for individuals in distress and contributing to the overall welfare of the community.

“Winning the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney award for Best Community Group is a tremendous honour for the SOS Bus Service team and its volunteers. It is especially pleasing given all the questions about funding for the service going forward. This accolade reflects the tireless efforts, compassion, and commitment of each team member who has contributed to the success of the service. It serves as a validation of their hard work and underscores the positive impact they have made in the lives of countless individuals within the community.

SOS Bus Development manager collects the award

SOS Bus Development manager, Belinda Buxton, collects the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award

“We are truly humbled and delighted to receive the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney award for Best Community Group. The award not only recognises our past achievements but also inspires us to continue our mission. We simply want to create a safer and more compassionate community for all.”

Belinda Buxton, the SOS Bus Manager said:

“The SOS Bus team is rightly celebrating this achievement. We look forward to continuing to serve the Norwich community with the same dedication and compassion over the busy Christmas period. The award serves as a motivating force for the team. It will reinforce their commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of community members in need.”