Housing

88-year-old cycles from Land's End to John O' Groats to fight homelessness

Laurence Brophy will cycle the nearly 2,000 mile journey to raise money for young people and women experiencing homelessness

A Pencoed 88-year-old is on track to break records and raise cash for homeless people as he cycles from Land’s End to John O’ Groats and back again.

Laurence Brophy, a long-time supporter of young people and women’s homelessness charity Llamau, began his epic journey last month to raise cash for people in need during the crisis.

The determined cyclist is also sleeping rough where possible throughout his nearly 2,000-mile round trip to highlight the harsh reality of homelessness and living on the streets.

He has so far found shelter for the night in a bus shelter, under a bridge, by the road side and in a farmer’s shed, despite suffering wild weather.

It’s not the first time Brophy has taken on the challenge. Last year he cycled one way from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, wondering if he could have been the oldest person to do so – but the current record is held by Donald Wells, who was also 87.

Laurence Brophy rests on his bike during one of his cycles to help end homelessness
laurence brophy

Now the 88-year-old is expected to become the oldest person to complete the mammoth journey there and back again by the time he returns to his home in Wales.

Brophy called the challenge “unchartered territory” but was determined to make his journey a success.

The former Green Party candidate and volunteer litter picker said: “I’ll never be able to truly know what it feels like to be homeless. When I sleep rough it’s when I choose. I have a credit card in my pocket, a phone to contact family and friends and I have the confidence to ask a stranger for help if I’m in great enough need.

“When I wake in the morning I have plans for the day ahead and the next day, with long-term hopes and aspirations that make me what I am.

“Homeless people have none of these things so if I could ask one thing from others it would be to give something to support homeless people.”

And he’s completing his mission while dressed as ‘The Green Man’ in a bid to get people thinking about the climate crisis too.

Brophy’s expedition has drawn attention from passers by. A supporter posted on his donation page: “He’s had a bit of a run in with police and ambulance as someone reported a 65 year old (very flattering) man collapsed on the side of the road. Just Laurie having an afternoon nap!”

laurence brophy

Yesterday, Brophy had made it as far as Loch Awe in the Scottish Highlands, coming in at more than 900 miles cycled so far.

Charity Llamau publicly expressed a “huge thank you” to Brophy and wished him a safe journey.

He asked supporters to give generously to encourage him onwards, adding: “You will be helping to provide desperately needed support for the most vulnerable people in our society at a time when it’s especially hard for charities like Llamau to make ends meet and carry on doing their invaluable work.”

If the 88-year-old is successful in completing the journey in a little under a month as planned, he should arrive home in Pencoed in the second week of this month.

Donate here to support the remarkable challenge and boost efforts to end homelessness.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Labour promises wave of new towns if elected. But will they make a dent in UK's housing crisis?
Angela Rayner announces Labour new town plan
Housing

Labour promises wave of new towns if elected. But will they make a dent in UK's housing crisis?

Over 90,000 households threatened with no-fault evictions since Tories promised to ban them
Renters angry at no-fault evictions, Renters Reform Bill delay and a lack of rent controls
RENTING

Over 90,000 households threatened with no-fault evictions since Tories promised to ban them

Starmer warned over glaring omission in Labour's six general election pledges: 'I'm disappointed'
Housing crisis

Starmer warned over glaring omission in Labour's six general election pledges: 'I'm disappointed'

Scottish government is declaring a national housing emergency – but what does it actually mean?
Scottish first minister John Swinney
Housing

Scottish government is declaring a national housing emergency – but what does it actually mean?

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know