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Emmaus Cambridge maintenance manager takes on Everest hiking challenge for charity

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The maintenance manager at Emmaus Cambridge is to hike Everest’s Island Peak in the autumn to raise money for the homelessness charity ahead of his 60th birthday,

John Baker, who has worked at the Landbeach-based charity for almost 20 years, has previously trekked Kilimanjaro and reached Everest Base Camp, raising £11,000 for Emmaus UK and Emmaus Cambridge.

John Baker working at Emmaus Cambridge
John Baker working at Emmaus Cambridge

At 6,189m though, Everest’s Island Peak will be the highest he had climbed and will take about two weeks to reach.

John, who looks after the grounds, resident rooms and charity shop at Emmaus Cambridge, explained: “I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Before retraining in maintenance, I was in the forces for six years which was a character-building experience for sure.

“So I knew when I wanted to fundraise for Emmaus Cambridge again that I’d push myself further than before and tick something else off the bucket list.”

John Baker hiking in Snowdon
John Baker hiking in Snowdon

With donations raised from John’s earlier adventures, the charity has supported hundreds of formerly homeless people who live in its on-site accommodation.

Emmaus also provides meaningful work for those who have experienced homelessness in its social enterprises: Joan’s Coffee Shop and the Landbeach Charity Shop.

“I think everyone is just a couple of salaries away from being in the same position as the residents here, especially these days and, I know if that were the case, we’d all want the help that Emmaus provides,” said John. “I’ve seen when one bad thing happens to someone and then their lives spiral and you realise how fragile everything is.”

John Baker hiking to Everest Base Camp
John Baker hiking to Everest Base Camp

Emmaus gives people the opportunity to gain new skills and build their self-esteem. Currently, 44 previously homeless people are living on site.

Tara Constable, support worker at Emmaus Cambridge, said: “It means so much to us that John is taking on this challenge for Emmaus Cambridge.

“His support around the site is invaluable and his passion for what we do is amazing. We’d love people to get behind him and donate!

John Baker hiking in Snowdon
John Baker hiking in Snowdon

“Any amount will help us to better support formerly homeless people that live on our site and tackle homelessness in the local area.”

To support John, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-island-peak.

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