A Leeds bar owner has taken to the ring for a boxing fundraiser in support of Emmaus Leeds.

On Tuesday 12 November, Dariush Afshar Haghigni, owner of The Watermark Bar, competed in the Industry Boxing Events 2nd Birthday at New Craven Hall. Dariush was up against another member of the Leeds bar-tending community and won his match over three, two-minute rounds.

Dariush decided to raise money for Emmaus Leeds, a local charity that provides support for 26 people who have experienced homelessness by offering a home, work and an opportunity to progress.

Dariush said: “It’s great to be able to help raise money and awareness to help tackle homelessness as it’s an issue I feel very strongly about. I only became aware of the work of Emmaus since signing up for the charity boxing and they do a fantastic job of connecting homeless people back into society.

“I can say quite confidently that there is nothing fun about being punched in the face repeatedly, gloves or not. It was great to take part in the event and win my match. It’s good to know that the bruises picked up will support a good cause.”

Emmaus Leeds supports formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and work in its social enterprise. 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.

Donald Forrester, Chief Executive of Emmaus Leeds, said: “At Emmaus we are always incredibly grateful to our local fundraisers. I would like to thank Dariush for his kind support and thank all the people who have already donated to his fundraiser. The donations raised will directly support people who have experienced homelessness to gain skills and experience to help them progress.”

Dariush is aiming to raise at least £500 for Emmaus Leeds and is still appealing for donations. To pledge your support visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dariush

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.