A FORMER Emmerdale actor, Tom Lister, is planning a
1550-mile cycle ride across Europe to draw attention to the fate of
girls trafficked into the UK for sex.
Mr Lister has taken time out from his acting career to cycle the
path taken by many young girls who are brought into the UK for
He will join a team from the Christian charity Hope, which seeks
to rescue victims from situations of exploitation and find them a
safe haven. The ride has been named the Zoë Challenge, after one of
the first girls to be rescued by the charity.
The cycle ride starts on 29 May. The team will cross six
countries, starting from Riga in Latvia, and cycling to the Dutch
port of Rotterdam. It will re-enter the UK in Hull, home of the
founder of the abolitionist movement, William Wilberforce, before
cycling back to London.
Mr Lister said that he would be cycling an average of 90 miles a
day during the trek. "I'm passionate about doing this ride. When I
heard the stories of some of these girls, they really struck a
chord, and I wanted to do something to raise the profile of the
charity, which is having a huge impact on the lives of some of
Mr Lister, a father of two, said that he was motivated by his
Christian faith to help others by getting on his bike.
His character was killed off from the Emmerdale
storyline last year, after eight years in the soap. He worked in
the theatre over Christmas, but is now taking time out to train for
the cycle ride. "I'm just waiting to see where God will take me
once this ride is finished," he said.
He will be tweeting his progress on @tomlister, and his ride can
be sponsored at www.hopeforjustice.org.uk.