FoundationFormer Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland ready for 'Kip on the Kop'
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has signed up to 'Kip on the Kop' in a bid to help raise awareness of homelessness in Merseyside and across the UK.
LFC Foundation launched the ‘Kip on the Kop’ event in July and places were quickly snapped up as supporters signed up to raise vital funds for thousands of people sleeping rough across the country.
Kirkland, who is the community representative for LFC Foundation, had no hesitation in taking part in the event at Anfield this Saturday, and he hopes it can go some way to highlighting the plight of homeless people in Liverpool and beyond.
Speaking ahead of the event, he said: “It’s an ever-growing issue now all over the world. You can walk down a street in any city now and you will see someone that is sleeping rough and it’s just heartbreaking.
“The more we can do through the club and the Foundation to highlight the issue and to try to get more people off the streets and into accommodation, the better.
“You can’t help but put yourself in that position and thinking that could be someone that I know, and the thought of it is heartbreaking, so this is a brilliant initiative and hopefully it will help a lot of people going forward.”
As well as raising funds for Liverpool Homeless FC, funds raised from the event will also go towards LFC Foundation’s Global Works programme, which provides sport-based employability sessions and mentoring for young people who have experienced homelessness.
Through his work with LFC Foundation, Kirkland has seen first-hand the impact this programme can have on people’s lives.
“I am involved in the Global Works programme and you can see the impact it has,” he continued. “You will get people of all ages coming through the door with different backgrounds and they are very shy and reserved, they have been through some very tough times. And the difference you see in them when they walk out after the course is incredible.
“The programme is there to hopefully put them on the right path and to give them an opportunity that they wouldn’t get without this programme.
“It gives me great pride to be just a small fraction of the team behind all of that, and a lot of people from the programme have gone on to employment within the club and also outside of the club, and it’s just an incredible programme.
“The Foundation really does give life-changing opportunities for everybody and seeing that up close and the impact it’s had on so many participants and families is heartwarming, and it drives you on even more to want to help and make a difference.”
While the event will not replicate what it’s like for those who are forced to sleep rough, it gives an idea of the situation that many people find themselves in every night, and Kirkland and his wife Leeona will be playing their part in helping to raise awareness.
On taking part, he added: “I am really looking forward to the event, I’m not looking forward to being stiff in the morning being the size I am, but it’s needed and I was more than happy and willing to take part and hopefully we can make a real difference.”
Places at the event have already sold out, but you can still show your support by making a donation here.