Kip on the Kop for Homeless
There is a sleepout taking place in Merseyside to raise funding for a homeless charity based in Wirral, ‘Kip on the Kop’. This will take place inside the grounds of Tranmere Rovers.
Following in the footsteps of Everton FC who had a sleepover at Goodison Park last November. Everton players, staff and fans slept at Goodison Park to raise money and awareness for homeless projects in Liverpool. Under-23s boss David Unsworth and his squad braved freezing conditions. They were joined by fans and club staff for the sleepover in aid of the Everton in the Community projects. The efforts raised £7,000 with chairman Bill Kenwright and the club adding a £23,000 donation.
Wirral Ark was founded in 1991 by a group of churches as a temporary night shelter. It’s a registered charity with Aydin Djemal as it’s Chief Executive. Under the official name, ‘Wirral Churches’ Ark Project’ They are a homeless prevention, support and accommodation service, supporting thousands of people at risk. These include isolated people with mental health or drug problems.
“Our services include a health clinic for rough sleepers, alcohol project for street drinkers, training and activity centre to support people to regain lost skills and confidence, and projects to support social inclusion and re-engagement with the community.”
Pauline Cox a fundraiser for the charity spoke to me in an interview about the upcoming Kip on the Kop Night set up to raise funds. This event is taking place at Tranmere Rovers on October 5th, as part of World Homeless Week.
1: Who are Wirral Ark?
Wirral Ark works at the sharp-end of frontline services by providing crisis and preventative support to some of the most disadvantaged homeless people who are pushed to the margins of our community.
Our mission is to break the destructive cycle of homelessness by tackling the issues that cause homelessness . We do this by supporting people on their road to recovery by providing a safe place to stay either in our hostel or community houses. We make sure people get the support they need to turn their lives around and escape homelessness.
2: How did kip on the Kop come about?
When I joined Wirral Ark in January I created a list of things I wanted to put together, the sleep out at Tranmere Rovers was top of the list. I’d seen that Everton had done a few sleep out events at their stadium but nobody had done one at Tranmere as yet, so I wanted to make that happen. Within 2-3 weeks I’d had a very positive initial meeting with Dawn at Tranmere and a green light shortly after. Bearing in mind that homelessness on the Wirral has increased by around 70% over the last 5 years, Dawn and I wanted the event to make as much of an impact as possible, so I got a list together of organisations working with the homeless in some way and invited them to participate and receive a share of the fundraising.
3: Has there been positive media reaction to it?
Wirral Ark are new to fundraising, and as yet we don’t have any marketing staff or resources, media contact has been quite minimal. We could do with some help in that area! Those that we have engaged with so far have been really enthusiastic about the event.
4: How did Tranmere FC get involved in this?
As above, and Tranmere have been fantastic, they’re super supportive and have been spreading the word via social media and through features in their match day programmes. I also asked if they would be willing to have their players recite some homeless statistics to camera to help promote the event and within a day of my suggestion they were asking for the stats and organising filming. The videos should hopefully be ready next week. Pete at Tranmere has been incredibly supportive and has been managing things from their side.
5: Is this the first time this event has been done?
Yes Wirral Ark have never proactively fundraised before, so we’re beginning our fundraising programme including all events from scratch.
6: How do people get to participate?
They can sign up at www.kiponthekop.com and register for £10 per person, or if they’re a group or Company wanting to participate as a group they can contact us on:
Each participant agrees to raise a minimum of £50 each, and participants must be aged 18 or over.