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Evening News has a ball to help keep late night revellers safe

A Press Ball organised by the Norwich Evening News has helped to raise thousands of pounds for the city’s pioneering SOS Bus project.

More than 200 guests enjoyed an evening of glitz and glamour at Sprowston Manor Hotel, raising £13,200 – £2,000 more than the inaugural event generated last year.

The money will go towards the running of the SOS Bus, which provides a safe haven for people out on the streets and in trouble late at night.

Evening News editor David Bourn said: “The ball was a huge success and I am very proud the Evening News has managed to raise so much money for this life-saving and very worthwhile cause.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who bought a ticket or made a donation.”

The Winter Wonderland-themed ball was hosted by comedian and Evening News columnist Karl Minns, and included a three-course meal, raffle and silent auction.

PC Colin Lang, operational manager for the SOS Bus, said: “I’m so grateful that the Evening News for the second year running has supported the project.

“In four years’ time we will need to replace the bus, which is already costing us money in repairs. In the last 12 months it has cost £17,000 on mechanical repairs alone.

“We, therefore, have got to try and raise the money over the next four years to try and replace it.”

The life-saving bus was set up after the river deaths of 16-year-old Nick Green and 21-year-old James Toms, who had both been on nights out in the city when they fell into the Wensum.

The Evening News launched its Home Safe and Sound initiative to help vulnerable people out drinking in the city and the SOS Bus was launched as part of that in 2001.