A team of students from Leeds University have raised more than £1,200 for Emmaus Leeds by completing a hitchhiking challenge across Europe.

The Leeds RAG Jailbreak Hitch took place between 23 to 24 March with teams of students hitchhiking as far away from Leeds as possible. Each team fundraised along the way and prizes were awarded to participants who travelled the furthest.

Rachel Baughen, Leeds RAG Hitches Coordinator, said: “We were all thrilled with the results of the hitchhike for Emmaus Leeds, achieving well over our target of £1,000, and raising awareness for such a great cause in the process.

“All participants managed to hitchhike down to London and then blag tickets out of the country. Groups travelled to Cologne, Berlin, and Paris, and the winning team got donated tickets to Iceland – travelling over 2,000 kilometres without spending a penny! We’d like to say a massive thank you to Joanne and Richard at Emmaus Leeds who helped inspire our fundraising, and we hope to run more similar events in the future!”

Leeds RAG is the official fundraising society of Leeds University Union. Last year they raised £245,223 for a huge range of national and international charities. For the latest challenge, students will work in groups of two or three to travel as far as possible within 36 hours.

Donald Forrester, Chief Executive of Emmaus Leeds, said: “The efforts of these Leeds University student fundraisers are greatly appreciated by everyone at Emmaus Leeds. Huge thanks to all who took part and all of the people who donated and supported their hitchhikes. The funds raised will help to give fresh opportunities to people supported at Emmaus Leeds, helping them on the personal journeys out of homelessness.”

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.

Find out more about the work of Emmaus 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.