Funding boost for SOS bus

AN INNOVATIVE project to provide an “SOS Bus” for revellers in an Essex town has received a funding boost.

James Hore

AN INNOVATIVE project to provide an “SOS Bus” for revellers in an Essex town has received a funding boost.

Essex County Council handed a cheque for £50,000 to Essex Police towards its Colchester SOS Bus, a project which has raised £200,000 in just a year.

Just £15,000 is now needed to complete the fundraising for the bus which will be out on the streets at night and be used for education during the day.

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Colchester SOS Bus will support injured people or those in need of a “safe haven” at night while they wait for family or friends after they have overdone it.

During the day, the bus will visit schools, clubs and communities throughout the town to promote awareness about a range of health and social issues.

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Acting Superintendent Adrian Coombs said: “The SOS Bus will provide a wide range of services to the people of Colchester and will also help in the fight to reduce problems associated with the night time economy.

“In order to get this project on the road a huge amount of work has taken place to raise support and funding.

“I am extremely grateful to Essex County Council and, in particular, councillors John Jowers and Jane Gardner for their support and recognition of the long term benefits this project will bring to the people of Colchester.

“It is fundamental that in the long term we continue to find funding streams to keep the bus running.”

Roger Walters, an Essex county councillor, said: “This is an excellent example of Essex County Council working closely with partner agencies and the voluntary sector to keep Essex's streets safe and to alleviate the pressure on the emergency services.”

Tim Young, in charge of street services and waste at Colchester Borough Council, said: “Making our communities even safer for residents, businesses and visitors is vital and the financial contribution from Essex County Council supports the best example of working in partnership for a safer Colchester.”

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