Kipping on the Kop to help homeless

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Tranmere Rovers FC at Prenton Park. Pic © David Haycocks JMU Journalism

The Wirral hosted its first ever sleep-out in Prenton Park, with the quirkily named Kip on the Kop which brought Wirral Churches Ark Project and Tranmere Rovers FC together to help fight against homelessness.

Dozens of people showed up on Friday night to see how long they were able to last in cold, rainy and windy conditions as participants were to spend 12 hours out in Rovers’ Kop end. The whole point of the event was to raise money and awareness, but also to give the people taking part an idea of what it’s like to sleep on the street.

The people roughing it were in high spirits despite the bitter weather. Everyone had their sleeping bags and carboard ready for a harsh night in the wet.

Alessandra Atria, 27, from Oxton told JMU Journalism: “You do these things because it is a life experience that can teach you something. Spending a night in the cold will give me a human understanding. You see someone in the road at night, you feel for them and you try to help them, but it’s not the same as understanding what they are actually going through.”

YouTube: David Haycocks 

Wirral Ark offers support, advice and shelter to the homeless, whether they have suffered unfortunate life-changing events or a have a drug problem.

Wirral Ark fundraiser, Pauline Cox, got the ball rolling with this idea after talking inspiration from Everton’s sleep-outs.

She told JMU Journalism: “I started in January and after two or three weeks we got the go ahead from Tranmere and they have been really supportive the whole way. Tranmere have been fantastic, they’ve contacted their partners who have donated, and they have advertised for us and got some of the players to speak on camera about the event.”

One person who braved the cold suffers with type two diabetes, however that was not stopping him from taking part. Andy Doyle, 55, from Birkenhead and a proud leading member of the supporters’ club told JMU Journalism: “Obviously, we do have cafeterias and kitchens here, so if it can be done I don’t see why not. You wouldn’t put a cat or dog out in that weather tonight so why should a human being be out there?”

Twitter: Tranmere Rovers

Twitter: Wirral Council