A pair of formerly homeless people have completed the RideLondon-Surrey cycling challenge to raise money for homelessness charity Emmaus Leeds.

On Sunday 29 July, Nick Derigs and Vinny Brennan, who both live and work at Emmaus Leeds, completed the RideLondon-Surrey 100 in challenging conditions. The 100 mile route was on the same closed roads as the professional cyclists competing in the RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. Nick and Vinny have received support from Emmaus Leeds over the past few years and are keen to give something back.

Nick, companion at Emmaus Leeds, said: “The bike ride was an amazing experience and something that will stay with me forever. The experience of riding on closed roads and full rows of screaming crowds in the last fifteen miles was truly incredible.”

Emmaus Leeds has its main community building and social enterprise on St Mary’s Street. The charity also has a shop in Halton and a stall at Kirkgate Market. All the proceeds are used to support formerly homeless people who are members of the Emmaus Leeds community.

Joanne Stafford, Projects and Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds, said: “We are so proud of Nick and Vinny’s achievements. On the day they both experienced torrential rain, six punctured tires, one crash, a stolen bike and a bit of tendinitis but they did it and had the best time of their lives. Very well done to Nick and Vinny and a massive thank you to everyone who has supported this fundraiser for Emmaus Leeds.”

The concept of solidarity, helping others less fortunate than yourself, is a central ethos of Emmaus and a motivation for Nick and Vinny to complete the challenge.

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.