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Posted on: 10th April 2011

Colchester SOS Bus visits Harlow Town Centre

The Colchester SOS Bus took the road on Monday 31 January to showcase the impact of the innocative Essex-based project.

Visiting Harlow, the SOS Bus was situated at the Terminus Street Bus Station to enable Harlow residents to see at first hand what the project is about.

The bus has a dual role as a safe haven on weekend nights and as a community resource during the week highlighting a range of community safety and health messages.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon visited the Open Road SOS bus when it stopped off in Harlow town centre.

Open Road, the largest provider of drug and alcohol services in Essex, has established the bus project in partnership with a range of voluntary and public sector partners.

Mr Halfon said: "This is a fantastic bus operated by Open Road that gives support to youngsters on Friday and Saturday nights helping people to try and stop drug and alcohol abuse."

He added: "The bus is kitted out with the latest technology and medical equipment. Youngsters are looked after on the bus and it is well known that it in other parts of Essex it has helped reduce drug use considerably.

"I hope very much that this bus becomes a regular visitor to Harlow and works closely with the Street Pastors, the police and other community organisations."

Sarah Wright, Chief Executive of Open Road commented, "This was a great opportunity for Open Road to showcase the Colchester SOS Bus Project and enable people in Harlow to find out more about the work of the bus and our volunteers. The SOS Bus has been a great success in Colchester, reducing the impact of the night time economy on the emergency services and reducing the harmful impact of drugs and alcohol. The bus is also a fantastic community resource that is used to spread community safety messages and health advice to local people. We are convinced that there are further opportunities in places like Harlow to develop similar projects."