After years of organizing and raising funds- we’re out there! The SOS Bus finally had it’s first proper deployment at the Jubilee celebrations on the Severals, June 3rd. While we’re now road-legal, there are still a few issues to fix before we travel any distance, and we are arranging to get those fixed. In the meantime, we were able to raise awareness, give out lots of water, and help out a few first aid cases. We were able to see some of our new and old volunteers for the first time face-to-face, and look forward to attending more events soon.
Suffolk’s High Sheriff’s Fund (via Suffolk Community Foundation) has given us another £1783.97 towards our goal. As this was match-funded by donations, this has taken us close enough to our target that we can get the Bus on the road! We will be out for the Jubilee weekend! See you on the Severals on the 3rd June.
After several years of neglect, vandalism and damage, some of the original colours returned to the outside and inside of the SOS Bus as it got a thorough cleaning from the Eurofins Chemtest crew, after a contact at the Rotary club put us in touch. Very much needed, especially if we help the NHS with vaccines or testing as we plan to do!
Tesco’s book stall donations made another contribution to our repairs- getting on the road is starting to look close!
One of our bigger donations to date, Newmarket Town Council donated money raised at the Soapbox Derby to us and Open Door. We had also received a grant for £1000 from the Town Council earlier in the year.
Well, if you’ve got a big, orange bus, you kind of have to flaunt it! Joining CAS for a conference, saves a lot of introductions!
Mid pandemic, we were asked to help with the drive-in carol concert as a volunteer respite area. As we were storing the SOS Bus on the Racecourse at the time, we were delighted to help. As well as tea and coffee for volunteers, we were able to jump-start a number of cars whose batteries ran flat during the event. We could also have been a first aid post, but thankfully not needed for that! A donation from Churches Together for our help meant more repairs could be done.
After a year of effort, we get enough people together to form our own charity- an essential step to getting the SOS Bus back on the road. Now we can have our own bank account, and apply for grants.
So, we tried to start the Bus, and <snap>! the starter knob breaks in half! We improvised with a spanner for a bit, but needed a permanent solution, and couldn’t find anything we could buy to replace it. Fortunately, we were able to improvise a solution with a drive connector and some bits from the man-drawer…
We did a quick video to showcase what the SOS Bus has to offer- hope you like it!