13 Jun 2010 Pre-2014 Releases

The West Suffolk SOS Bus has been presented a Highly Commended Award in the East of England region of the Business in the Community Awards 2010.

The SOS Bus was entered in the Anglian Water Most Innovative New Programme Award, which was won by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust.

Three hundred and eighty guests attended the East of England Awards Gala Dinner on   Tuesday 8th June at Hengrave Hall, Bury St Edmunds. Sponsored by London Stansted, the awards act as a celebration of the success of local businesses’ community-based programs.

The SOS Bus, launched in October last year, is a multi-partner initiative designed to meet the needs of vulnerable people out and about in Newmarket’s nightlife. The project is led by the Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership and supported by other agencies including the British Horseracing Authority, Racing Welfare and the Newmarket Racing Partnership.

The primary purpose of the SOS bus is to offer immediate, non-judgemental assistance to people at risk along Newmarket High Street on weekend nights. To this end, it provides first aid, advice and help to vulnerable people experiencing issues including emotional distress, alcohol and substance misuse, financial problems and relationship breakdowns.

Sue McAllister Project Officer Newmarket Community Partnership said:

“It is a huge accolade for the West Suffolk SOS Bus to be highly commended for this award. We are so grateful to the British Horseracing Authority in putting this project forward. 

“The team of volunteers on the bus are so dedicated, working closely with the Police and Town Pastors and we are making a huge difference in helping people in distress or injured at night in Newmarket.”

Nic Coward, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority commented:

“I am delighted that the huge efforts of all those involved with the project have been recognised and rewarded by BiTC.

“Newmarket is a central hub for British Racing, and we are very proud to be involved in something that improves the lives of those working there. The credit must go to those that are making the SOS bus a success on a day to day basis, and who are so passionate about the work that they do.”

For further information, please contact Sara Hay Jahans, Head of Industry Recruitment and Training at the British Horseracing Authority, on 02071520018 or Sue McAllister, Project Officer Newmarket Community Partnership, on  01638 664480