James Duddridge, Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East, has pledged his support for the SOS bus during a visit to the bus on Friday, June 4, during the Southend Community Safety Partnership day along Southend High Street.
During the visit the MP spoke to volunteers about the excellent work that they do in helping people enjoying Southend’s events such as Southend Carnival, fireworks night and stay safe to name a few.
Mr Duddridge was also given a short tour of the Basildon SOS bus, which was parked at the top of the high street whilst the Southend bus was being serviced, and equipped to enable basic first aid, counselling, and providing people with a safe environment until assistance is arranged.
He said: “I am so pleased that we have this excellent facility here in Southend helping to keep young people safe whilst enjoying a night out in the town. I would like to thank all of the wonderful staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to ensure that we keep the SOS bus in Southend operational.”
The SOS Bus is a project run by the Southend YMCA that provides a safe haven for the night time economy in the form of two converted double-decker buses. The project is co-ordinated by a small team of staff and a large pool of volunteers, who are provided with training in first aid, self-defence, mental health, sign language, drug and alcohol awareness and much more.