Going through ‘hell’ to support the homeless

Thomas Cranshaw is preparing to ride a 156-mile route in France called The Hell of the North for homelessness charity Emmaus

Thomas Cranshaw is preparing to ride a 156-mile route in France called The Hell of the North for homelessness charity Emmaus

First published in News

A student is tackling a gruelling 156-mile one-day cycle ride to support a homeless charity in Cowley.

University of Oxford medical student Thomas Cranshaw, 21, is preparing to cycle from Paris to Roubaix for charity Emmaus.

He will attempt the one-day 250km route dubbed “The Hell of the North” to raise £1,000 for the charity on Saturday, August 16.

Mr Cranshaw said he wanted to support the charity after being moved by the struggles of the city’s homeless people.

He added: “There is a stark contrast between the lives of most Oxford students and those of the homeless and at risk that can be easy to ignore.

“I wanted to both increase awareness and raise money for a great Oxford charity and I chose Emmaus specifically as a locally acting charity.”

The route is one of the oldest cycle routes in the world, first attempted in 1896.

It features in the Tour de France and its distance, rough terrain and cobblestones often force competitors to drop out.

But Mr Cranshaw, who is from High Wycombe, is determined to take up the French challenge.

He completed the Midlands 100km Tour of the Black Country bike ride in May in preparation for this month’s challenge.

Mr Cranshaw is aiming to complete the route in 12 hours Emmaus, which is based in Oxford Road, Cowley, has been supporting residents at risk of homelessness since March 2009.

Emma Watkins, 36, has received help from them for the last five years and currently lives in the charity’s Oxford Road housing development.

Miss Watkins had been battling a 20-year heroin addiction and four years of homelessness before receiving the charity’s support.

She said: “Without Emmaus I might be dead right now. It seems extreme but it’s a possibility. There’s nothing else like Emmaus in Oxford. There are vulnerable people who are not getting the right help.”

Currently on a methadone treatment program to curb her addiction, she said the team provides her with the structure and support needed to lead a drug-free life.

She added: “Five years ago people wouldn’t have recognised me.

“I’m a different person now and that’s a lot of thanks to Emmaus.”

To sponsor Mr Cranshaw, visit virginmoneygiving.com/parisroubaix

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

    Send your Letter to the Editor

    11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

    What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Cyclists warned: Don't be dimwits

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.

Football match in Banbury stopped after bottle was thrown on to the pitch

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

5:18pm Saturday 25th October 2014

A FOOTBALL match was abandoned this afternoon after a bottle was thrown onto the pitch.

Extra hour tonight! Celebrate with top bands at unique Oxford gig

Oxford Mail:

1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014

With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

Shhh... silent film is a reel hit with movie buffs

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.

Update: Oxford University student Isobel Priest is found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014

Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree