The winners of this month’s draw were Bill Azzi who won £78.00 and Philip Llewellyn Baker who won £46.80. Monthly contributions are running at £312 and the total raised now stands at over £37k. Many thanks for your continued support. Head here to fill in a quick and easy online form to be in with a chance of winning next month’s draw.
Whilst we are all counting down the days until we return to play matches at our home in East Dulwich, we still have three important home league games at Imperial Fields.
Today we welcome St Albans City to Imperial Fields for the first of those three National League South games. St Albans currently sit in the last play-off place in the league, so they should provide another tough challenge for Gavin and the team today.
After nine months in exile, the Football Club, with the support of the Trust, reached an agreement with Southwark Council and Meadow Residential that will allow the club to return to Champion Hill. Work on the playing surface is well under way and Football Club has been assessing what works are required to repair and clean up the stadium in preparation for the return of Gavin Rose’s squad.
The club and the Trust have already been contacted by supporters offering their time to assist with preparing the stadium for our return. With our league game against Truro switched to Sunday, the club is seeking volunteers to assist with ‘making ready’ the ground on Saturday 10 November. As well as looking for supporters to assist with the many manual jobs that need doing, there is a requirement for trades people such as plumbers, electricians and painters.
Additionally, Saturday 17 November (in the morning before that afternoon’s home game against Oxford City) and Sunday 18 November have been provisionally pencilled in should further tasks need completing. If you are able to assist in any way, please email your details to the Supporters’ Trust including details of any relevant skills you might have (email@example.com).
Whilst we have been away from East Dulwich we have still strived to continue the community work that makes this football club so special, but recently our focus has been on encouraging people to travel to Imperial Fields with events such as the recent successful family day. At Imperial Fields, the club has simply not seen the 2,000 + crowds we used to enjoy so its main revenue stream has been dramatically reduced.
Moving back to Champion Hill does not mean that all our troubles are behind us but it does mean that we have a great opportunity to get back to what makes this club unique and to all play our part in securing its long-term future. Having the club back in East Dulwich is not only beneficial for our local community, it will also be welcomed by many local businesses. Since our displacement, in March of this year, many of these have missed out on match day trade. Our return should see a financial boost to the area.
Talking of local businesses, The East Dulwich Tavern will be holding another General Knowledge Quiz Night and Raffle in aid of The 12th Man this Thursday, 8th November 2018. Both the entry Fee and Raffle money will be donated to The 12th Man, Doors open at 7pm with the quiz due to commence at 8pm. Entry is £2.00 per person with a maximum of six people per team. In addition to prizes for the top teams on the night, there will also be a raffle.
Finally, with the game away at Truro City taking place on Sunday 11 November, we can confirm that the Trust will be running a supporters’ coach to Torquay’s ground, Plainmoor. Seats can be confirmed today and at this coming Tuesday’s home game by visiting the Trust Mega-container shop with advance payment. Adult £30, Adult concession £25, Accompanied teen £20 and Child £15.
Enjoy the game
Mark (Scolly) Scoltock
Many supporters have already contacted either ourselves or the Football Club offering their time to assist with preparing Champion Hill stadium for our impending return.
Having now assessed what is required around the ground and with our league game against Truro City switched to Sunday, the club is seeking volunteers to assist with ‘making ready’ Champion Hill on Saturday 10 November.
As well as seeking fans to assist with the many manual jobs that need doing, there is also a requirement for trades people such as plumbers, electricians and painters.
Saturday 17 November (in the morning before that afternoon’s home game against Oxford City) and Sunday 18 November have also been provisionally pencilled in should further tasks need completing.
If you are able to offer your time, please email your details to the Supporters’ Trust (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave your details at the Mega-container shop at either of the next two home games.
Good evening and welcome to this fundraising match against a Crystal Palace XI. First, thank you all for your support tonight. In a particularly difficult month, we really need the income this match is bringing us. Of course, this would not be possible without the agreement by our opponents – sending a squad including several first team names and managed by Roy Hodgson is a superb commitment and we are exceptionally grateful for this. This is also a great opportunity for us to showcase our fantastic club. If this is your first time watching a Dulwich Hamlet game, then I hope you enjoy your time with us this evening and hopefully we will see you again at a future league fixture.
Increasing our home attendances has been a focus for the Trust this season. The last home match on 29th September was designated a ‘Family Day’ and it was so good to see so many of the Junior Rabble at Imperial Fields. They turned out in force to support their heroes on the pitch, collecting balloons, pin badges, team posters and lollipops (pink and blue, of course!) along the way. Also on the day, budding artists took part in a competition to design a page for the 2019 Trust calendar and our judges are busy pondering over the gallery of excellent entries (winner (s) will to be announced at our next home game against St Albans on 3rd November). To cap a great day, Gavin and the team put in a strong performance on the pitch to secure a 2-0 home victory.
Our next Family event is planned for the 1st December, when we hope to host a Christmas Fayre, complete with old fashioned games, stalls and ‘seasonal refreshments’ for the grown-ups’. Who knows, Santa himself might make an appearance!
Talking of Christmas, the Trust will once again be hosting this year’s Dulwich Hamlet Christmas Party. We are very grateful to the East Dulwich Tavern (EDT), Lordship Lane, who have offered to hire out their upstairs room to us. More details will follow, but be sure to put Thursday 20 December in your diaries in your diaries.
Following the home match against St Albans we have a long trip to look forward to (although not quite as far as we would have imagined). On 10th November we are scheduled to play Truro City who this season are playing their home games at Torquay United’s ground. Unfortunately, this is also the weekend when the FA Cup 1st round matches will be played.
As Torquay United are currently still in the competition and therefore, may be drawn at home, fans are rightly cautious in booking train tickets or accommodation in case the game is unable to be played at 3 pm on the Saturday. We have provisionally booked a coach for this fixture, which can be rearranged if necessary. If you would be interested in travelling on the coach, please either email the Trust (email@example.com) or register your interest at the club shop. Given a positive interest, along with the confirmation of the fixture, we are hopeful that we will shortly be able to confirm coach travel.
Finally, as you may have noticed we recently advertised for a new Board Secretary and are happy to announce that Philip Mitchell has now taken up the positon. Having lived in East Dulwich for 35 years, many of you will know Mitch personally as a founder member of the Supporters’ Trust and Board member during our early years. Welcome aboard (again) Mitch. Stepping aside from the position is Darren McCready. Darren joined the Board in 2013, and filled a number of roles including both Vice-Chair and Chair whilst using his expertise in town planning at a critical time for the Club. Following the conclusion of his 3-year term on the Board, he took on the role of Secretary and has provided invaluable support and guidance to us all as well as taking on the onerous task of organising the AGM. The Board would like to thank Darren for all his hard work and hope that he can now enjoy home matches again!
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you all back here on 3rd November.
Enjoy the game!
Mark (Scolly) Scoltock
The club expects the work required to prepare the ground to take 4-6 weeks and will announce the date of the first home fixture as soon as upcoming cup fixtures have been confirmed.
London. October 23, 2018.
An agreement has been reached after the conclusion of successful talks between Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, Southwark Council and Meadow Partners that will see the club return to Champion Hill. Supporters’ Trust Co-Chair Duncan Chapman said “The club and the trust have been working as one on this and are both delighted that Dulwich Hamlet will be coming home to where, over many years, it has grown to become such an important part of our local community.” With crowds regularly exceeding 2,000 people the return to Champion Hill will also be a welcome boost to many local businesses on match days.
The final agreement was reached following a meeting attended by all parties chaired by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch. Club Director Ben Clasper stated “We’d like to thank Tracey Crouch and our local MPs Helen Hayes and Harriet Harman for facilitating and attending the meeting which led to this positive outcome.” A joint statement was prepared and agreed between all parties following the meeting at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on October 22, 2018.
Joint statement from Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, Southwark Council and Meadow Partners
“DHFC has approached Southwark Council to ask for support to secure the long term financial security of the club and facilitate its return to Champion Hill.
DHFC has requested a new lease from the council on the AstroTurf pitch.
This new lease, to be granted by the Council, would be coterminous with an 18-month lease, to be granted to DHFC by Meadow, on the Champion Hill site. Both leases include a 1 year rolling extension.
The new lease of Greendale would allow DHFC to use the AstroTurf pitch for all its sporting requirements including any match day use and such other community and sporting uses as DHFC may undertake from time to time.
DHFC has agreed to meet the Council’s aspiration for investment into the improved sporting facilities on that site for the benefit of both the club and the wider community.
Meadow has agreed to support the club’s return to Champion Hill on this basis. In recognition of this, the Council has agreed not to progress activity on a compulsory purchase order in relation to the Champion Hill site for the duration of DHFC’s lease at Champion Hill, so long as it is on fair and reasonable terms, including allowing the club to retain match day income, bar-takings and catering proceeds.”
JOINT STATEMENT ENDS
After 8 months away from Champion Hill the club will now work with the National League to begin the process of returning from its temporary home at Tooting and Mitcham FC’s Imperial Fields ground where promotion was secured at the end of last season to the Vanarama National League South.
The winners of this month’s draw were James O’Shaughnessy who won £78.00 and Jenny Lennon-Wood who won £46.80. Monthly contributions are running at £312 and the total raised now stands at over £37k. Many thanks for your continued support. Head here to fill in a quick and easy online form to be in with a chance of winning next month’s draw.
Today’s FA Cup opponents, Tonbridge Angels, are no strangers to The Hamlet having played them in the Isthmian Premier league for the past few seasons until our promotion.
Whilst a few may be disappointed that we do not have the adventure of traveling to a new ground, a home tie does bring in revenue for the club (although gate receipts are shred with today’s opponents). Regular supporters are obviously aware that home attendances are currently below what we were recently achieving at Champion Hill. Significantly, a reduction in crowds means a reduction in match day revenue and this does not only affect the current budget of the club, but also hinders the goal of securing its long-term future.
So, a good run in the FA Cup could bring in some much needed revenue to the club, with the winners of this game securing £9,000 in prize money. Dare we dream of reaching the First Round Proper, not only be a fantastic achievement for the club but could also bring with it a big financial windfall. The last time Dulwich reached this round was in 1998, when they lost at home against Southport, who knows maybe we could end be playing a Football League team at home in a televised game!
Concerning attendances, the Football Club and Trust are working hard to encourage people to make the journey to our temporary home in the London Borough of Merton and one particular group we have seen in attendance less, since our enforced move, are families. I mentioned in my last programmes notes that the Supporters’ Trust will be hosting a family day at next Saturday’s home game against Chippenham Town with activities and giveaways for children attending the game. By hosting this family day, we hope to ensure that our younger supporters enjoy their visit to Imperial Fields and leave wanting to come back for more.
Many fans will recall the tragic death of Junior Dian in July 2015. Junior was a 23 year old defender who was playing a pre-season friendly as a trialist for today’s visitors, when he collapsed on the pitch and later died in hospital. Our visitors chose to turn this tragedy into something positive. First they decided to screen all of their players for undiagnosed heart conditions – something that an average of twelve, apparently healthy, young people die from every week. They then put their support behind the charity C-R-Y (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and have helped facilitate the screening of hundreds of young people in Kent.
A similar programme in Italy where all athletes, amateur and professional, are screened for heart conditions has been reported as resulting in a drop in the death rate from such incidents of 89% since it was introduced.
So, when the matchday committee recently informed the Trust that the battery and pads on the club defibrillator needed replacing we had no hesitation in agreeing to meet the cost of the replacement. Of course, everyone associated with the club hopes that this equipment will never be needed but it is vitally important that this it is available and ready to use – just in case.
Finally; after an unsuccessful attempt to get the Trust mega-container to Imperial Fields a couple of weeks ago we are planning to have another go – with a vehicle that has a bigger crane! We are looking forward to being able to once again provide a full range of merchandise, including teamwear, to Hamlet fans on matchdays. We don’t want to tempt fate by announcing a date – if you see a large pink and blue steel container in the corner of the ground today ….. then it made it!!!
Enjoy the game!
Mark (Scolly) Scoltock
The Supporters’ Trust is pleased to sponsor today’s match against old rivals Wealdstone who we welcome to Imperial Fields.
It’s our third successive Saturday home game and whilst our crowds have been good at Tooting and Mitcham during a traditionally quiet period, they are currently below what we achieved at Champion Hill. We seem to be enjoying the company of far fewer family groups than we did when we were at our home in East Dulwich. The previously short walk down Edgar Kail Way has been replaced with an 8 mile drive in busy Saturday afternoon south London traffic, or a trip by public transport.
With this in mind, the Trust will be encouraging local East Dulwich families to make the journey to the next home game by running a family day at the game against Chippenham Town on 29 September. One of the areas where we are seeking to support the club this year is by helping to ensure that our supporters have a good match day experience. By holding a family day, we hope to ensure that our younger supporters enjoy their visit to Imperial Fields and leave wanting to come back for more.
You may have noticed at the last home game that the Supporters Trust Club Shop has now moved to the far end of the main stand. It was becoming increasingly difficult to transport and carry the vast amount of Ikea bags and boxes of scarfs, T-shirts and caps. It therefore made sense to relocate the shop closer to where our stock is stored which is also where the Mega-container will eventually be relocated – hopefully more news on that soon.
Last week we introduced two of our four new Board members, Michelle Chapman and Paul Griffin.
The third new Board member is teacher Alex Smith, who grew up in Liverpool and learned from an early age that football is more than a game. “As a city, it was part of our blood, our identity. Since first seeing Dulwich Hamlet play in 2015 on a visit to London while I was living in Brighton, I was drawn to the club’s inclusive and fighting spirit.”
In reference to the club having to play away from its traditional home of East Dulwich, Alex believes that it “just makes it all the more crucial that the club and the Trust fight to keep the club alive and the community engaged. And that’s what good football clubs are all about: community. From promoting grassroots competition and coaching, to providing a safe space where everyone can feel welcome and valued, to engaging and supporting local businesses, clubs are about more than what happens on the pitch. But the thrill and the promise of what happens on the pitch is so often the magic that breaks down barriers and gets people talking. That’s the beauty of football.”
Our fourth new Board member is Mark McCann. Although a Nottingham native, Mark has lived in London since 1991 and in south-east London since 2005; first in Peckham, now in Forest Hill. He stumbled into his first Hamlet game by accident in 2007 after a particularly harrowing shop at Dog Kennel Hill Sainsbury’s and gradually cranked up his attendance so that by the promotion season of 2012-13 he was hooked and a regular.
He’s worked in the public sector for nearly 30 years, first as a Whitehall civil servant and more recently for the public body that distributes National Lottery funding to charities and community groups.
“I’m a great believer in making the very best out of adversity. And this season is testament to how a football club and its supporters can do that. The Trust has terrific people behind it; supporting Gavin and the team, while helping to stick it to Meadow.” Mark added that “everyone’s priority this coming season is to secure the club professionally and financially and get it back into Champion Hill.”
Finally, thank you to all those supporters who donated items to last week’s food bank collection. In recent years we have seen that more and more people are having to rely on food banks to supplement their weekly groceries, so it was good to see that, yet again, the generosity of supporters of Dulwich Hamlet attending the game and donating to the Wimbledon Food Bank. I understand that it’s planned to hold another food bank collection later in the season, this time for Southwark Food Bank.
Enjoy the game!
Mark (Scolly) Scoltock