SOS Bus

SOS Bus exists to provide crisis intervention and welfare support for vulnerable people in Belfast. Our 220 highly trained volunteers are dedicated to providing unconditional care and work towards helping reduce pressure on the emergency services.

4 response mini-buses

3 sixty-foot flexi buses

220 volunteers

SOS Bus is a non-judgemental safe space where our trained volunteers provide welfare support, first aid, mental health intervention and community safety. All volunteers are fully trained so they can effectively help clients. We help anyone who becomes vulnerable, including those who are: 

  • Victims of assault

  • Experiencing homelessness 

  • In fear of violence or crime

  • In need of listening ear support 

  • Victims of substance misuse

  • Injured or unwell

  • Lonely or isolated

  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts

Welfare Support

  • Shelter

  • Listening skills

  • JAM Card friendly

  • Refreshments - tea, coffee, soup, bread

  • Provisions - warm clothes, flip flops, sleeping bags

  • Support and transport to get home safe/to a place of safety

  • Mobile phone charging

First Aid

  • First aid provision

  • Defibrillators

  • Harm reduction and substance use support

  • Naloxone provision

  • Transport to ARC/A&E

  • Referral to PHA funded partners e.g. Drug Outreach Team

Mental Health

  • Mental Health Intervention

  • Suicide Awareness and Intervention

  • Safe Talk

  • Listening Skills

  • Signposting - understanding referral pathways and materials. 

  • Transport to A&E

Community Safety

  • Acting as part of a strategic network during the Night Time Economy

  • Experiencing homeless Support - referral to partners, transport to a place of safety

  • Signposting Hub

  • Refuge for those in fear of violence/assault

  • Trained by PSNI and Rowan Centre in assault and crisis intervention

  • Responding to PSNI welfare calls

2020 - Night Time Services

~ 3755 Volunteer Hours ~ 751 Volunteers across ~ 83 Shifts ~

430

Clients on board the SOS Bus

221

Cases of substance misuse

6

Suicide Interventions

138

Clients experiencing homelessness

168

Clients receiving listening ear support

"My Sister went on a night out with friends and got way too drunk; it seems like her friends abandoned her and she was in no fit state to find her own way back. My sister means so much to me as we were all split up as children; now that we're older she stays with me at the weekends. If anything happened to her it would break my heart! I always worry that somebody would try and take advantage of her when she is out and thanks to the SOS Volunteers that didn't happen. I was so surprised that you have an SOS Mini-bus and were able to drop her back. I really just want to show my appreciation and say a big thank you to all the folks who helped, you are a real blessing to many."

Working in Partnership in our Community

SOS NI works in partnership with the emergency services, statutory services, other charities, and businesses, schools, universities and community groups to meet the serious social problems that our volunteers encounter, making Belfast a safer place for everyone. Working in close collaboration with the Police and Ambulance service, we are able to clearly evidence our ability to mitigate aspects of crime and lower unnecessary hospital admissions.

SOS Food and Provisions Response

SOS Bus has managed a dynamic presence over the city since the beginning of lockdown. We have an incredible resource in our volunteers who have risen to every challenge this season and adapted in their roles to support our community. SOS were contacted by old and new partners throughout 2020 with requests to provide logistical support or transport on new initiatives to help vulnerable and isolated people on the streets of Belfast. As a result, we were able to provide an additional 3352 volunteer hours supporting our community. We continue to provide ad-hoc logistical and transport services to local community projects.  Click here to find out more.