SOS service set up to help vulnerable people on nights out in Thetford over Christmas period
PUBLISHED: 12:58 25 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:27 25 November 2017
A group of volunteers will be out and about in Thetford over the next month to help vulnerable people during the party season.
Between 9pm and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays throughout December volunteers from First Aid Support Thetford (FAST) will be patrolling the town.
The aim of the SOS service - which will be supported by Breckland Police - will not only be to help those in need but to free up police resources.
Sharon Thompson, from FAST, said: “Primarily we will keep an eye on vulnerable people. We can help if someone is paralytic or needs first aid attention, or if someone has been separated from friends, we can call their family and friends to get them home.
“We just want to make sure that as many people stay safe as possible.”
She added: “At the end of the day if we get one person home safely we have done our job.”
The volunteers will use the Green Dragon pub on Market Place as their base, but will be out and about the town centre where they will look after people.
The month-long trial will start on Friday, December 1 and will involve two groups of two volunteers.
They will have chocolate, water and foil blankets on hand, which have been sponsored by Thetford-based Force8 Security Services.
Battery charges will also be available to allow people to add charge to their mobiles.
It is hoped the SOS service will free up police resources to attend other incidents. Officers can sometimes spend hours helping a person who is hurt or vulnerable. They may have to stay with them until help arrives or transport them to hospital.
PC Amy Lucas, Breckland Police community engagement officer, said: “We will have vehicles out in the town to identify vulnerable people who need assistance. Police specials and regulars will do patrols of routes people will take to leave the town centre.”
Mrs Thompson said FAST - which provides first aid at events across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex in addition to training -would be unable to carry it on over the busy summer months.
However, she is hoping with an already positive response the group may be able to train people up to carry it on throughout 2018.
She said: “If we get a crew of volunteers I am planning to train them and create a rota so it could be done 52 weeks of the year.”