A team of fundraisers from Emmaus Leeds has presented a cheque for more than £1,000 to St Gemma’s Hospice following a 29-mile walking challenge.

On Tuesday 28 August, the Emmaus fundraising team visited St Gemma’s Hospice in Moortown to present the cheque, have a tour of the facilities and meet with beneficiaries of the charity. The team of charity walkers included formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus Leeds, volunteers, staff and friends including two employees of Corecom Consulting.

Fay Richardson, Senior Fundraiser at St Gemma’s Hospice, said: “Thank you so much to the residents and colleagues at Emmaus Leeds and Corecom Consulting for walking the 29 miles between Leeds and Skipton. Well done to everyone that took part, a massive achievement to complete the walk and raise such an amazing amount for St Gemma’s!

“We are so grateful for your support and your fundraising will help continue to provide end of life care for the local people of Leeds, we really can’t thank you enough.”

Back in July, a team of 11 people completed the full 29-mile charity walk along the Leeds Liverpool Canal between Leeds and Skipton. A further nine people walked half the distance or more.

Dave, companion at Emmaus Leeds who completed the challenge, said: “I had a heart attack earlier this year and the effect of my operation was instant. I was getting oxygen back to my body again and it was exhilarating.

“I was motivated to get fit and take on any challenge so when asked what we should do for this year’s fundraising challenge, I came up with the suggestion to walk to Skipton. It was a pleasure to raise money for such a good cause.”

St Gemma’s Hospice is a Leeds-based charity providing expert care and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses. The care offered is always provided free-of-charge and is open to patients of all beliefs, religions and cultures.

The Emmaus Leeds community completed Wall’s Walking Challenge last year, in memory of Steven Wall, an Emmaus Leeds companion who passed away in 2016 after receiving support from St Gemma’s Hospice. The concept of solidarity, helping others less fortunate than yourself, is a central ethos of Emmaus and a motivation for the companions completing this year’s challenge.

Joanne Stafford, Projects & Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds, said: “Raising money for causes other than our own is so important to Emmaus. When we visit St Gemma’s and see the work that they do it is truly inspirational. Most of us on the walk knew someone who had been cared for by St Gemma’s, whether it was a companion, a father, and brother or a wife. The walk was brutal, half of us were limping by the end and covered in blisters but you forget all of that when you remember what you are doing it for.”

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, and also runs a stall at Kirkgate Market.

To find out more about the work of Emmaus Leeds head to www.emmaus.org.uk/leeds. For more information, to donate an item or get involved as a volunteer call 0113 248 4288 or visit Emmaus Leeds at St Mary’s Street, Leeds, LS9 7DP.