SOS Bus Project Nominated for Health & Wellbeing Project of the Year 2016

ymWe are extremely proud to announce that our historic The-Queens-Award-for-Voluntary-Service-LogoSOS Bus Project has been nominated for Health & Wellbeing Project of the Year 2016 by YMCA England for this years Youth Matters Awards.

This nomination adds to the growing list of prestigious recognition's awarded to our SOS Bus including the Queens Award for Voluntary Service and being featured on Channel 4's Undercover Boss.

Since 2006 the SOS Bus has provided a safe haven in Southend in the form of a converted double decker bus which is positioned in the town centre high street by McDonald's and Marks & Spencer between 9pm and 4am Friday and Saturday nights.

At the safe haven are first aiders, youth and voluntary workers with a selection of alcohol, drug and solvent abuse advisers.

The bus is equipped to enable basic first aid, counseling, and provides people with a safe environment until assistance is arranged, as well as literature on alcohol and drug education/intervention support services.

In 2011 Southend YMCA launched the Basildon SOS Bus, based at Festival Leisure Park near Liquid & Envy Nightclubs.

More information about our SOS Bus Project can be found HERE

Now we really need everyone to get behind our SOS Bus and vote for them to win the award for Health & Wellbeing Project of the Year 2016!



SOS Bus Featured on BBC Street Patrol UK - Watch on iPlayer

Street Patrol UK is a BBC Oneiplayer logo series presented by Dominic Littlewood that looks at the antisocial behaviour that blights people's everyday lives and how it is dealt with by the authorities.

The Southend YMCA's SOS Bus was featured in the 8th episode which aired on the 18th September 2013.  The segment documents a typical night on-board the SOS Bus and the good work they do in the community.

Click the link below to watch the whole episode on iPlayer. (The SOS Bus segment starts at 21 minutes in)


Watch Street Patrole UK on iPlayer

SOS Bus @ Afternoon Tea With The Queen

On The-Queens-Award-for-Voluntary-Service-LogoThursday 6th June 2013 John and Carole Bastin, Marilyn Kerrigan and Ron Wright attended the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate winning the Queens Award for volunteering. Most of those in attendance had been nominated for the award and guests came from all over the United Kingdom

The Team were there on behalf of the SOS BUS Project and had a great day. It was great to be in the presence of the Queen and the Duke and enjoyable to take tea with them and the rest of those invited.

It was also great to be allowed to walk round the grounds of the palace and see such beauty also to find that you were still in the centre of London.

This is a day that the four of us will never forget and will stay with us for a long time.
-John Bastin

what a wonderful conclusion the superb dinner provided to an excellent and memorably day
-Ron Wright

easily one of the best days of my life, the company, location and hospitalities of her majesty and the lovely meal after made the day
-Marilyn Kerrigan


Southend YMCA’s SOS Bus Project has received The Queen's Award for Volunteering

The Queen's Award forThe-Queens-Award-for-Voluntary-Service-Logo Volunteering is a group MBE and the highest possible award that can be presented to volunteer groups across the UK.

Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee and then the committee makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office, which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.

At the helm of the Southend YMCA SOS Bus is project manager John Bastin who said, "Our team of volunteers and staff are a regular, reassuring presence in Southend High Street and are there to take care of anyone who may be vulnerable or the worse for wear after a night out. We are always there to provide help, support and a safe place for people to come to."

In the 6 years The SOS Bus has operated, it's become a welcome member of a wider team of organisations and people all wanting to keep people safe. This includes club staff, door-staff, the Police, Ambulance service, town centre CCTV, and the clubbers themselves.

Its estimated that over the last 6 years the Southend YMCA SOS Bus has saved the NHS an estimated £756, 750 in Ambulance call outs and A&E admissions.

The award will be presented by Lord Petre to John Bastin will receive it on behalf of the SOS bus with details to follow on final date/time.

For further information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SOS Bus raises over £1000 from fashion show

Fashion_Show_catwalk_2012My fundraising project for this year was to hold a fundraising fashion show - not something I've ever done before.

April 19th saw the Southend YMCA SOS Bus host its first fashion fundraiser. The event turned out to be loads of fun for all involved and the event managed to raise over a thousand pounds - £1,121.36.

Travelling Trends supplied the fashion and we supplied the models, these were chosen to appeal to the audience expected. Local businesses generously donated several raffle prizes, these together with a variety of delicious cakes creating a sucessful cake sale, helped contribute to a great evening of fun and entertainment.

The SOS Bus is reliant on it's strong team of volunteers and all of course would not have been possible without their input on the welcoming desk, tea bar, cake stall and raffle sales. Don't miss out on next years one! Make a donation to Southend YMCA to help support project like the SOS Bus by clicking here.

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Southend YMCA is registered as a charity under No 1102837 and is registered as a company in England under No. 5051166.
Southend YMCA is an independent Southend based charity that is affliated to the national and global YMCA movement, supporting children and young people.
Head office: Southend YMCA, Newlands, 85 Ambleside Drive, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 2FY

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