Making Belfast Safer

SOS Bus NI is an integral part of the multi-agency effort to deliver services that reduce pressures on blue light services and make Belfast a safer place to live, work and socialise.

SOS Bus works around the clock providing a range of services using a fleet of repurposed buses and mini-buses and a team of over 200 volunteers. In any year 2,500 local people and visitors to the city are provided with welfare support at their time of need.

Street Based Interventions

The Daytime Response Team offer street based talking therapy and crisis intervention and are primarily engaged in supporting people, who on account of their complex lives, including homelessness, can struggle to access mental health services and support via traditional routes.

Typically two-thirds of these individuals are provided with on street mental health interventions to deescalate the immediate crisis, and if appropriate, referred to longer term support. A small but significant proportion need urgent first aid attention including the administration of naloxone and conveying to A&E.


Night-time Services focus on the provision of a non-judgemental, safe space on board the bus and the delivery of crisis interventions, welfare support – including shelter, refreshments & warm clothing, and community safety functions.

This can be to individuals who are injured or unwell, experiencing suicidal thoughts, victims or those in fear of violence or crime as well as those feeling lonely and isolated.

A Place of Refuge

The SOS Bus is also tasked, as part of the multi-agency health and safety team, with providing welfare services at concerts and other major events in the city. These include providing shelter and a place of safety, assistance for those recovering from substance use and support for those needing safe transport home.

“If we show kindness, it makes others want to show kindness. It has a ripple effect.”

George, SOS Bus Volunteer

Care & Compassion

The all-embracing care & compassion demonstrated by SOS Bus volunteers has earned the service a unique role both in supporting Belfast’s spectacular rise as a tourist destination and in providing for the wellbeing of its local residents.

Working in close collaboration with the Police and Ambulance service, SOS Bus is able to clearly evidence its ability to mitigate aspects of crime and lower unnecessary hospital admissions.

Their volunteer contribution has also been recognised with the bestowing of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Other partners who are making a difference

Identifying the right network of dedicated and ambitious partners has enabled us to deliver on our charitable purposes and activities. Here are just some of the life-changing projects that our grant partners have been involved in.

  • Belfast Lough Sailability

    Belfast Lough Sailability

    Sailing is one of the few sports in which able-bodied sailors and sailors with disabilities can participate on equal terms.

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  • The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation

    The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation

    Philanthropic support is helping to make Queen’s University Belfast and Northern Ireland a world leader in medical research, education and patient care. 

    Read More

  • Think Malawi

    Think Malawi

    Think Malawi supports sustainable, grassroots projects in Malawi which help improve life outcomes for underserved children and young Malawians through access to education.

    Read More