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Chief executive of SOS Bus, Joe Hyland, shares all of his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 60-year-old is the chief executive of the SOS Bus and lives in Belfast with his wife, Jackie Devine, and their children, Anna (17) and Josh (14). He has also has a son, Adam (30) from a previous relationship.

My best moment

For me it was seeing my children born. Adam is grown up now and Anna and Josh are both teenagers so they think I’m a bit of a twit — but then all children think their parents are twits.

My best way to relax

I like spending time with my friends and debating things. I love a good discussion over a good meal, even if you disagree with what the other person is saying.

My best song

I listen to anything from rock and roll to Beethoven. I’m a listener rather than any form of expert.

I do love American Pie by Don McLean because of the memories it gives me of hanging out with my mates and singing it with them.

My best bit of advice

It’s ‘wise up’ — I’ve had so many people throughout my life tell me that, but it all depends on the person who is saying it to you. If it’s someone you trust and respect and you know that they genuinely care for you, then when they tell you to wise up you pay attention as you know they will have a good reason for saying it.

My best job

That has to be as chief executive of the SOS Bus. I don’t see this as a job but I love what I do because it gives me a platform to touch other people’s lives.

My best gift

My dad bought me a train set when I was a child. I loved the set but I remember it primarily from when he put it together. He couldn’t get it working so he ran his tongue over tracks and got an electric shock. He jerked his head up and bumped it on the steel-framed track of my bed and it started to bleed.

My best achievement

Apart from the bus, my personal achievement was when I finally learned to let go of control and start working with people. Meeting my wife, Jackie, helped because she stabilised my working life and helped to focus me. Without her anchoring me I wouldn’t be alive today.

My best buy

The wedding ring I bought for my wife — we’ve been married for 20 years now.

My best book

I am a big reader and I’ve read lots of books that I’ve forgotten about. One that stays with me is The Lord Of The Rings.

My best film

I think the Shawshank Redemption — I reckon I could have finished up inside myself so it’s a film that gives me hope. It’s so much about how life can be very cruel but hope can triumph

  • The SOS bus was founded in 2007 and helps people in need on the streets of Belfast. Since its inception it has engaged with more than 220,000 people and been proven to have saved 14 lives. For information about the work of the SOS Bus, to donate or inquire about volunteering go to

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