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Emmerdale star cycles across Europe to help end UK human trafficking

Actor Tom Lister is taking part in the Zoe Challenge to raise money for the British anti-human trafficking charity, Hope for Justice ...

Emmerdale star and committed Christian, Tom Lister, will be cycling 2,500 punishing kilometres across mainland Europe in 20 days in May. Tom is taking part in the Zoe Challenge to raise money for the British anti-human trafficking charity, Hope for Justice.

The Zoe Challenge is named after one of the first girls rescued by the charity Hope for Justice specialist investigators. She was trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation and suffered violence at the hands of her controllers.

Tom (right), who played Carl in the popular TV drama series, said it was “devastating to know this kind of abuse is happening around us.

“We’ve all got a part to play in ending it. For me, as a man of faith, that means going all out for a charity I’m passionate about and jumping on my bike to raise money for their frontline work.”

Tom will be joined by Hope for Justice’s CEO Ben Cooley as they follow Zoe’s route of trafficking.

“I met Ben a couple of years ago and we hit it off. He filled me in on the amazing work of Hope for Justice and the desperate need for something to be done. We put our heads together, and with my passion for crazy challenges and Ben's stories of exploitation and rescue in the UK, The Zoe Challenge was born.” 

Tom is no stranger to cycling, having taken part in a ‘Team Emmerdale’ challenge from Emmerdale to EastEnders in 24 hours in 2011 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. But he admits this challenge, which will take him through six countries, will be a much bigger feat.

“I have never tried to do such a sustained level of physical endurance before, so I have been doing some personal training sessions, some spin classes to build stamina and aerobic ability and lots of cycling. But being a dad to two small boys and running round organising this ride, time is not always on my side!” 

To sponsor Tom and Ben visit

Join the conversation about ending human trafficking in the UK on Twitter: @Hopeforjustice #ZoeChallenge. 


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