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Posted on: 6th December 2017

This Bus is Free – And It Runs All Night

Visitors to Chelmsford’s city centre night spots will soon have an extra bus service – but one with a difference - it will be firmly based in one location and it comes with its own medical room.

The Chelmsford SOS Bus launches this Saturday 9th December at 6.30pm in the High Street. The Bus will be on site every weekend to offer advice, support and medical treatment to anyone who needs it. The Bus is operated by Open Road, the leading charity for those struggling with drug and alcohol problems and their families.

Steve Wood, Open Road’s SOS Bus Manager said: ‘After months of fund raising and work in the garage, we are really delighted that we can launch our Chelmsford SOS Bus service before Christmas. The bus has been specially adapted to have a medical room, rest area and support equipment and our team of trained volunteers are ready to go on duty from 10.00pm every Saturday night until 4.00am the next morning. We’ll also be on site for as many Friday nights as we can afford to operate.’

As well as offering a safe haven for late-night visitors, SOS Bus volunteers are trained to help diffuse trouble and treat people quickly; they do this alongside the Police, pub and club door staff, the Ambulance Service and voluntary groups like the Street Pastors.  The medical unit is staffed by doctors who treat minor injuries, reducing the number of people needing to go to A&E. All of this helps reduce the negative impact of the night time economy on the businesses and residents of Chelmsford.

Sarah Wright, Chief Executive of Open Road, will be saying a big thank you to key local stakeholders who have contributed to the Bus. These include Essex Community Foundation, Essex Police Crime Commissioner’s Office, Chelmsford City Council, Essex Police Crime Commissioner’s Office, McDonald’s and Essex County Council Public Health.

‘But it’s not just for the invited few.” She said, “We’d love to welcome all members of the public to come along and take a tour of the Bus, guided by our amazing volunteers. So if you’re a local business, a contributor or a potential volunteer, do please come along. Since launching our original SOS Bus in 2008 in Colchester, we’ve assisted thousands of people and night time issues have decreased markedly. We want to do even better in Chelmsford and raise enough funding to be on site every Friday night as well. Come along on Saturday and help us generate ongoing support for this vital service.’ 

Notes to Editors:

Open Road is a registered charity and leading provider of drug and alcohol treatment services in the East of England. In 2015 Open Road will be celebrating 25 years of delivering high quality services to empower individuals and families to recover from the harmful impact of drugs and alcohol. Every year Open Road helps thousands of individuals and their families to combat their drug and alcohol addictions, offering a range of one to one support, group therapy and harm reduction services. Open road currently employs over 100 staff and has a team of over 200 volunteers who actively support our work.

For further information about Open Road please contact us.