Welcome to Liverpool Homeless Football Club, Charity 1182349

LHFC and Me by Abbey Pybis

Abbey Pybis Masters in Marketing

About Liverpool Homeless FC

Liverpool Homeless Football Club (LHFC) is a small grassroots charity, which was established in 2007. The main aim of the club is to support homeless men and women across Merseyside in their journeys to rebuild their lives. My name is Abbey this is my story of how a small charity from Liverpool has taken big steps in helping homelessness across the city.

Why marketing is important for the organization.

Marketing is influential for any chartable business. Collaborating with people, businesses and other charities helps us grow and gets our name out there for all to see. Marketing process have been influential for Liverpool Homeless FC in building a brand presence both traditionally and digitally and also increasing fund raising which is vital in supporting our members in their journey to rebuilding their lives.

Where it all began

At the start of my undergraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing, I knew I wanted to gain real-life experience in the field. This was when I began my internship at Turtle Media and Marketing. My role commenced with a task to create a social media competition to win a brand-new website. The lucky winner of our competition was a small local charity called Liverpool Homeless FC.

Fast-forward 5 years and I am now part of the Liverpool Homeless FC family. The experience I have gained at the club has been invaluable to not only my career but also my personal life. During my time, I have managed the organisations day-to-day social media, created corporate and fundraising events, had the pleasure of working with celebrities such as John Bishop, Jamie Carragher and John Barnes (not to name drop…), as well as building relationships with amazing businesses from across the city.

My Journey

I began this journey being viewed as another two-week work placement, who turns up for some work experience and leaves. However, this was not the case. I began my journey with the aim to make a difference and continue with this aim today.

At the beginning I was naïve to the outside world. Nevertheles, being able to build relationships and hear the world from multiple perspectives, has changed me as a person. Our members of the club have inspired me from the very beginning by overcoming challenges, staying committed to rebuilding their lives and opening up about their mental health.

Who would have thought after one social media competition during my time at Turtle Media, I would have been lucky enough to have found my passion in the charity sector and meet some amazing people along the way?

Stand out moments

One question I often ask our members when building their story is, if they could describe any standout moments of their time at the club. This is usually a difficult question to answer, which I have never understood. However, when sitting down to write my story, I now know the feeling; there is too many to choose from.

To memory, one of the first stand out moments to me was the raffle of a signed Mo Salah Shirt. This was the first fundraising activity I had organised at the club and working with a brand as established as Liverpool FC was a great opportunity. As Liverpool FC have fans all over the world, I knew there was more of an audience than people who attended our office. Therefore, we created a digital raffle, where we received purchases from all over the world, which resulted in a significant boost to the club funds.

When it comes to the most inspiring standout moment, for me it would have to be the Christmas Toy Appeal. Our Christmas Toy Appeal aims to support vulnerable families living in domestic abuse accommodation across Merseyside. Every year our team is overwhelmed by the support we receive. 2020 was a worrying year due to the pandemic. However, once again we were amazed at the support we received and with taking the toy appeal digital, we managed to hit a record high of 5,000 plus gifts.

Marketing Projects

While I have briefly discussed some of the marketing projects I have been involved in, these are but a few. I have had the pleasure of working and developing a number of projects from selling pies at the Liverpool Christmas Markets to the opening a café in Liverpool One.

As an organisation we had the opportunity to have a pitch at Liverpool’s biggest Christmas Market’s. We used the stall to raise awareness and also raise funds for our club by partnering with a local charity called Home Baked, to sell scouse pies.

Our organisations motto is more than just football, one way we show case this is a training course called the back kitchen. The Back Kitchen course offers vulnerable people a chance to achieve qualifications in food and hygiene and hospitality, preparing them for a job in the hospitality industry. Due to the success of the course, we were able to take the course to the next level and open The Back Kitchen Café in Liverpool One. This amazing opportunity enabled us to employee people from disadvantaged backgrounds, giving them a chance to improve their employability and life skills at the same time. A number of the members who completed The Back Kitchen course and achieved a position at the café, are now in full time employment and no longer at a threat of homelessness.

During our time at The Back Kitchen Café, we held a number of fundraising and corporate events, to raise awareness of the new venture. The launch of The Back Kitchen was a success attended a number of celebrities including John Bishop, local community leaders, council officials, local influencers, press and most importantly our members.

Another successful event at The Back Kitchen was an exclusive networking event arranged by Liverpool Homeless Football Club and hosted by Jamie Carragher. The networking night offered organisations from across the city a chance to view and taste The Back Kitchen’s catering menu as well as a question-and-answer session with Jamie Carragher.

The year of Covid-19

The last year has been the toughest yet for Liverpool Homeless FC along with many other organisations within the city. We swapped football for food delivery and in line with the current pandemic we went digital. My task was to take the organisation digital, which was crucial when it came to staying in contact with our members, keeping a brand presence and planning the future. Check out the previous blog post ‘looking back on a year since lockdown’ to find out how we tackled the obstacles of covid-19.

Thank You

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the whole team at Liverpool Homeless FC. being honest we are more than just a team; we have become a family. Our family grows on a daily basis including all our staff, volunteers, members and supporters.

On a personal note, I would like to thank John Finnigan, our CEO. John has been a crucial figure in my development at Liverpool Homeless FC. While no two days are the same and some days prove to be quite hectic, you manage to support everyone and always find a solution to any problems. I would also like to say a big thank you to Fran Davies, not many people have the privilege to work with someone as caring and understand as you.

As my journey continues

As my journey evolves, I continue to learn and grow. I am currently studying a master’s degree in digital marketing to develop my education further. When it comes to my journey at the club, I look forward to continuing to support the team in their upcoming growth as I believe the organisation is making a big difference in our city.

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