DRUNKEN revellers left stranded or injured after a night out in Southampton this Christmas are being offered a safe haven.

A fully staffed ambulance and portable building will be stationed in the city centre’s Guildhall Square to provide medical help and advice and even arrange a taxi ride home.

Council, police and ambulance chiefs hope it will relieve the pressure on emergency services and help make sure party-goers get home safely.

The SOS project helped 34 people last weekend, mostly because they were cold, had too much to drink and were unsure of how to get home.

Eight would otherwise have needed to go to hospital.

Councillor Royston Smith, Cabinet member for economic development, said: “The SOS initiative is a serious attempt to take pressure off the emergency services this Christmas and to help anyone who needs help or advice over this festive season to get them home safely.

Chief Inspector Alison Scott, from Southampton central police station, said: “Getting people safely home after a night out is a key priority for the police. Having additional resources out on the streets to help Christmas revellers can only be of benefit and reduce the fear of crime.”

Rob Kemp, head of operations for South Central Ambulance Service, added: “It is vital at any time of the year that people get the right treatment for their clinical need but more so during the winter when pressure on the emergency services is at its highest. We look forward to taking part in this new initiative to provide a safe haven for the members of the public in Southampton.”

The SOS project will run until the new year.