Belfast Telegraph

A-level parties will mean one of busiest nights for SOS Bus

By Rebecca Black

Collect your teenagers after their A-level celebrations is the message from the founder of a charity that rescues people in distress on a night out.

The night of the results is one of the busiest of the year for the SOS Bus as teens celebrate their success or drown their sorrows.

Thousands of teenagers across Northern Ireland will receive their results tomorrow.

Last year on A-Level results night the SOS Bus treated 19 young people who had drank too much. Charity founder Joe Hyland said many young people don't understand they can quickly make themselves vulnerable.

"Young people often don't realise the effect of alcohol on the system, it can take 45 minutes before it (one drink) is out of their system," he said.

"If you are drinking pints the volume of liquid limits how much you drink, but when drinking shots much more alcohol is consumed.

"A young person can start to feel sick and stop drinking, but there is a ticking time bomb inside them as even though they have stopped drinking, all that alcohol is still being absorbed by their bodies.

"They can make themselves very vulnerable very quickly. We see them becoming very distressed and there are people who will be in the city centre on Thursday to try and prey on young people." The SOS Bus vehicles are staffed by trained volunteers who can provide food and hot drinks as well as blankets.

If medical intervention is needed, the volunteers will call an ambulance.

Joe's advice for parents this week is to collect their teenagers themselves if they are able to.

If not, he advises making sure they have £20 tucked into their shoe or pocket, so even if they lose their purse and phone, they have the means to be able to get home.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph