SOS Bus service ‘creating safer night environment’

Colin McCarthy, Carrickfergus Rotary Club president-elect welcomes Joe Hyland, of SOS Bus (N I), as guest speaker. INCT 38-707-CON
Colin McCarthy, Carrickfergus Rotary Club president-elect welcomes Joe Hyland, of SOS Bus (N I), as guest speaker. INCT 38-707-CON

Carrickfergus Rotary Club members have been learning more about a service to protect young and vulnerable people on the streets of Belfast at night.

Guest speaker, Joe Hyland, of SOS Bus (NI), explained how he and a group of friends founded the charity and initiated the service in 2007 in response to a late night assault on a member of his family.

The service is operated by a team of over 200 trained volunteers from specially equipped vehicles which can be located wherever they are needed. They also deploy satellite foot and mobile patrols in their distinctive yellow fleeced jackets to extended areas of need.

He also explained how the SOS Bus volunteers work with other voluntary organisations, the emergency services and statutory bodies to create a safer place for everyone, but he sounded a note of caution about the impact of current budgetary cuts on funding sources.

Rotarian Billy Luney congratulated Joe on the excellent service provided by the charity, his commitment to creating a safer night time environment for the young and on his inspirational talk to club members.