Emmaus Leeds homeless charity wants walkers to join members on a hike up Snowdon

Emmaus Leeds members hiking up Snowden on a previous visit. Picture: Emmaus Leeds.
Emmaus Leeds members hiking up Snowden on a previous visit. Picture: Emmaus Leeds.

A team of former homeless people are appealing for walkers to join them for a hike up Snowdon this summer in support of the charity Emmaus Leeds.

The service near Mabgate in Leeds city centre offers living space and work opportunities for those without a home - known as Companions.

Fundraisers Nick Derigs, Dave Kirk and John Malpas. Picture: Emmaus Leeds.

Fundraisers Nick Derigs, Dave Kirk and John Malpas. Picture: Emmaus Leeds.

A number of these will be joined by volunteers, staff and friends of the charity for this year’s walking challenge and want local fundraisers to join them on the Emmaus Homeless Hike up the highest mountain in Wales, planned for Sunday July 7.

Nick Derigs, a former beneficiary of Emmaus Leeds is one of the fundraisers taking part.

He said: “When I became homeless in 2014 I was offered a room at Emmaus Leeds and became a companion.

"I lived and worked in the community and was also involved in several fundraising activities, including walking up Snowdon in 2016.

Emmaus Leeds community members on a training walk. Picture: Emmaus Leeds.

Emmaus Leeds community members on a training walk. Picture: Emmaus Leeds.

"It was an amazing experience and now I get to do it again.

“This time I am a volunteer at Emmaus as I recently moved into my own flat and got a full-time job, but I still volunteer one day a week and I love it.

"I'm so proud to be able to act as a walk leader for this year’s challenge and inspire a group of new companions.”

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The Emmaus Leeds community has completed several walking challenges in recent years for a variety of local causes.

The concept of solidarity and helping others is a central ethos of Emmaus, the charity said, and a motivation for the companions completing this year’s challenge.

Snowden is 1,085 metres above sea level and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands.

Donald Forrester, chief executive of Emmaus Leeds, said: “After successfully completing various walking challenges over recent years our Emmaus Leeds community members were keen to set a new challenge.

"We’re appealing to our supporters and residents of Leeds to join us for the hike, learn more about our work and help to raise funds and awareness for Emmaus Leeds.”

Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it.

The charity has its main community building and social enterprise on St Mary’s Street, a stall at Kirkgate Market and a charity shop in Halton.

The Leeds branch, part of an international charity organisation started in France after the Second Word War, opened its doors in 2003 and has since supported more than 430 people who have experienced homelessness.

To join the Emmaus Homeless Hike up Snowdon and reserve a place, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emmaus-homeless-hike-tickets-57618095274