800-mile cycle ride in memory of man who supported charity for the homeless

Matt Purling and Charles Wilson will be cycling from Land's End to Norwich Cathedral to raise money

Matt Purling and Charles Wilson will be cycling from Land's End to Norwich Cathedral to raise money for Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney as well as British Heart Foundation. Picture: Matt Purling and Charles Wilson. - Credit: Archant

Two friends will be cycling from Land's End to Norwich Cathedral in memory of a charity trustee.

The Ditchingham-based Emmaus charity which provides a home and meaningful work in order to help peop

The Ditchingham-based Emmaus charity which provides a home and meaningful work in order to help people to move on from homelessness. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Charles Wilson and Matt Purling will take on the challenge from September 23 to 30 in memory of Matt's father John Purling, who passed away in April this year aged 69.

John, a former Royal Norfolk Show chief executive, was also a trustee for Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney. Inspired by his father's involvement with the Ditchingham-based homelessness charity, Matt and family friend Charles are aiming to raise £5,000 for Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney as well as the British Heart Foundation.

Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney provides a home and meaningful work for up to 23 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.

It offers formerly homeless people, known as companions, full time work selling and upcycling second-hand furniture and household items at its Ditchingham and Bungay charity shops. The income generated through Emmaus' shops goes straight back into the community and enables companions to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need than themselves.


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Speaking of the pair's 800-mile cycle ride, Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney's general manager Cathy Hembry said: 'We were one of a number of local Norfolk charities lucky enough to have John Purling's support in his lifetime and are hugely grateful that his work with us has inspired Matt to fundraise. We wish both Matt and Charles the very best of luck, it's a wonderful thing they are doing.'

The last stage of the cycle will see Charles and Matt riding into Norwich Cathedral on Saturday, September 30.

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The pair have taken on a gruelling training regime in preparation for the challenge.

Matt said: 'I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm watching my diet and am hoping to cycle 60-70 miles a day. Charles has been training hard too so we're both in the right place.'

So far the duo have raised over £1,500 on their JustGiving page.

If you would like to sponsor them, visit justgiving.com/teams/mattandcharlie

•Are you raising funds for a special charity close to your heart? Email the details to amy.smith@archant.co.uk

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