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Affiliate of the month: Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Every month the Football Supporters’ Federation features an affiliate or associate member to highlight good work carried out by fans. If you’d like to appear email info@fsf.org.uk, this month it’s the turn of Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust (KHIST). We spoke to Chairman Geoff Coles about their general work and fundraising activities

The FSF: Hi, how’s Kidderminster Harriers’ season going?

KHIST: We got off to a good start and were into the play-off zone up until December. Since then we have had an amazing FA Cup run, however, our league form has dipped.

Tell us a little about KHIST…

The Trust was formed in 2003. Ten years on we have approximately 400 members. In 2011 we undertook a massive fundraising project when the fans contributed approximately £30,000 to help save the club by avoiding administration.

Our 20-20 Lottery is three-years-old and has raised £75,000 to Kidderminster Harriers. We currently hold over 176,000 shares in the Club.

Do you aim to own the club?

Not at this stage although this couldn’t be ruled out if circumstances were to change in the future.

How do you go about that?

A daunting project! You only need to look, for example at Pompey Trust who successfully secured ownership of Portsmouth to realise that trust ownership is indeed possible. To achieve this we would need to attract local investors and involve the community.

Do KHIST campaign on other non-ownership issues?

No.

What do most members want to see from KHIST?

The fans are happy for KHIST to represent them and provide the link between the supporters and the football club. We recently held an event to celebrate Graham Allner’s 15 years as manager of Kidderminster Harriers. It was supported by over 100 people with Graham and 25 ex-players were in attendance on the night.

Non-league fans sometimes see things differently to PL/FL fans whose focus is often on safe standing or ticket prices. What issues are important to you?

We support the drive towards greater fan involvement, including the acquiring of a shareholding and a fans’ representative on clubs’ board of directors.

We’ve heard you’re doing a 65 mile charity walk in two days from Kidderminster to Forest Green Rovers. Tell us a little more – who’s it for and how can fans donate?

Former KHIST chairman Steve Millington sadly passed away in November after a short illness. He was a founder member of KHIST and served for over ten years on the board. His energy and enthusiasm were key in helping to save KHFC three years ago.

Over 50 KHFC supporters will walking to our Tuesday night game at Forest Green in April for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Steve. Macmillan were very helpful to Steve and his family and it was his wish that we fundraise for them. Training is going well and we are well on our way towards our £10,000 target.

People can donate at www.justgiving.co.uk/fgrwalkers or view our progress via Twitter @ForestGreenWalk

Thanks very much Geoff and good luck with the fundraising.

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this article.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe