The Thing That Keeps Us Going Is We Are Able to See the Kids Benefit from All the Work We Do; as City Charity KIND Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary, ECHO Writer Tony Barrett Talks to Stephen Yip about Its Legacy

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Barrett

STEPHEN Yip has mixed feelings as the children's charity he set up, runs and fundraises for gears up for its 30th birthday celebrations.

On the one hand, he is overwhelmed by a huge feeling of pride. Pride that KIND has lasted this long. Pride that it is still going strong and still highly respected in the Merseyside communities it serves. And pride that it has had such a positive effect on so many youngsters lives.

But he recognises that, in an ideal world, KIND would not even exist because there would be no need for charities to try and bridge the gap between poverty and aspiration.

"If I could have just one 30th birthday wish," he says "it would be that what we do is no longer needed' that every child gets a week or two away every year, that every child wakes up on Christmas morning with nice presents to open and a nice meal to look forward to, and that every child can look forward in life with dreams of what is possible for them to achieve and not fears about what they might miss out on.

"The truth is that this doesn't happen anywhere near enough and while this remains the case it is vital that organisations like KIND continue with their work."

But fundraising has become tougher, a fact Stephen is acutely aware of. "Because we are not new and not 'sexy' it becomes harder to bring money in," he admits.

"The thing that keeps us going is we are able to see the kids benefit from what we do."

When Stephen launched KIND in December 1975 he didn't for one moment think it would turn into a full-time job, never mind a cause which would would dominate his entire life for the next three decades.

Since then KIND has raised millions of pounds for tens of thousands of needy youngsters and their families.

But surely there must be the odd day when, like the rest of us, Stephen wishes someone else could fight the good fight while he takes a rest?

"No, not really," he insists. "There have been times when things have been a bit difficult but you just have to struggle through.

"The way I look at it - and I know the rest of the team have exactly the same attitude - is that I couldn't live with myself if, on Christmas Day, all kinds of kids were waking up with nothing to look forward to and I hadn't done anything to help them."

KIND also operates a year-round environmental educational establishment in Back Canning Street where youngsters from schools in some of Liverpool's most deprived areas are welcomed and supported. …