A 279-mile charity cycle challenge is set to finish at North Staffordshire’s largest furniture reuse charity shop.
Staff and volunteers at Emmaus Furniture Mine are to welcome Mark Johnson – who will be making his way from Leicester to Stoke-on-Trent on Friday 3 September – the date a special open day will be taking place at the charity shop – which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.
The final stop will conclude a five day ride for Mark, who is raising money for Emmaus UK.
Emmaus Furniture Mine, located at Cannon Place, Hanley has been owned by Emmaus North Staffs since 2017. The charity partners with housing associations, supplying free furniture and white goods to those who are setting up home with no ability to pay. It has helped around 60,000 local people with more than 480,000 items since being formed three decades ago.
Emmaus North Staffs and Emmaus Furniture Mine work together to overcome homelessness and social inclusion and are part of Emmaus UK’s 34-strong federation of charities – which is also celebrating its own 30-year anniversary in 2021.
John Webbe, Executive Lead of Emmaus North Staffs and manager at Emmaus Furniture Mine, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Mark to our Hanley base. The cycle challenge he is doing is incredible and it’s all to help to raise money for Emmaus UK.
“The challenge not only coincides with Emmaus’ 30th birthday, but also Emmaus Furniture Mine’s – what a great way to end the challenge and support everyone.”
Mark has been working for Emmaus UK for five years and is currently the national Business Development Manager. He has set his cycling route based on three pairs of Emmaus communities and groups that opened in each of the past three decades.
Mark’s tour will start in Cambridge (1991), before heading on to Greenwich (1994), Hertfordshire (2002), Oxford (2009), Leicestershire and Rutland (2012), and finishing at Emmaus North Staffs (2017).
“I’ve met some of the most inspirational and dedicated people I have ever come across,” said Mark (pictured below). “It also just so happens that my personal work anniversary coincides with 30 years of the Emmaus movement in the UK.
“I decided a cycling challenge would be a great way to raise some money for something I am deeply passionate about whilst also celebrating the hard work and commitment of Emmaus teams right across the UK. I’m looking forward to visiting all of the Emmaus charity locations along my journey in September and cannot wait to meet John and all the team in Hanley to mark the end of the challenge.”
In recent months a two-week summer sale took place at Emmaus Furniture Mine, which saw hundreds of quality furniture items sold at a discounted price, as part of the birthday celebrations.
John added: “The summer sale went well and on the same day Mark will be arriving at the shop, we will be welcoming various friends and associates of the charity, to come along and say hello to help us celebrate our birthday.”
Emmaus North Staffs and Emmaus Furniture Mine support local people to move away from poverty. The charity is raising funds towards a long-term goal of setting up an Emmaus community for former homeless people. The accommodation will offer a home, work experience, daily support and funded training to rebuild lives and will be the first of its kind in the county.
For regular updates about Emmaus Furniture Mine, which is open to the public six days a week, visit their Facebook Page @FurnitureMine or visit www.emmaus.org.uk/north-staffs