A Year in the Life of DHST

A Year in the Life of DHST

13th Jun 2021

In the run up to our announced AGM, we put the call out for nominations to the Trust Board and to remind you, there will be five vacancies made available for new elections to the Board.

Being on the DHST Board is a great way to volunteer time to help the Club, meet new people, and learn new skills.

Nominations are welcome from anyone who is over the age of 18 and is a paid up Member of DHST. These must arrive no later than the 23:59 on 15th June

In the final part, of our series of article from current and former Board members, Walter Johnson talks about his time on the Board during the 2016-2017 season.

"I spent the 2016/17 season on the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters Trust board (DHST). It was an incredible year for the club, for the fans and for indeed for me; easily one of the best years of my life!

My role was community lead for DHST, and in that year little did I know that I would go well beyond the frontiers of SE22...

One of my first assignments early in the season was to lead a small group of supporters to Grande-Synthe in Dunkirk (France) to participate in the inaugural Liberté Cup. The Liberté Cup was a football tournament which brought together refugees from the La Linière refugee camp in Grande-Synthe, aid workers, together with football fans from all over Europe. Our fans had an amazing time engaging with refugees from the camp, hearing their harrowing stories, along with meeting aid workers from the camp and understanding their motivations. The tournament helped us to build lasting friendships through football. This was an excellent example of the club enhancing its reputation on the continent as a caring community club.

In late October, I arranged an interview with our former player and legend Benjamin Odeje. Benjamin Odeje is recognised as the first black footballer to represent England at any level, having represented England Schoolboys on five occasions. Benjamin represented Dulwich Hamlet, as well as Hendon and Charlton in his playing career. He now works part time as a football coach. It was inspirational to hear his stories about what is was like to represent the club at a time when football supporters had much to learn about the way we should treat footballers on the field.

In the spring we helped to celebrate International Women’s Day by highlighting the contribution that women have made to Dulwich Hamlet FC, our local community and the game as a whole. On the match day itself the First XI wore a special all purple kit, the primary colour of the International Women’s Day organisation (IWD). The kit was specially produced for the occasion and featured IWD’s charity partners Catalyst and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS) logos. Following the match a number of shirts were auctioned raising over £2000 for the charities. In addition to this I interviewed a number of women participating in football including actress and activist, Adrienne Alcover, World Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd and our very own First Team physio, Toni Miller.

I was also very fortunate to be interviewed on several occasions, most notably for East London Radio, DD Footy Factory and the Next Jamie Vardy programme. It was a fantastic opportunity to tell the world about the great work of the club and how my role allowed me to participate in that.

I had a great sense of pride whenever I represented that club that year. Be it meeting with a partner organisation on an exciting project, being part of the matchday operations when there's a big game, serving in the club shop or helping out at a stall at a fete.

My family grew at the end of that year and so unfortunately I had to step down after my first year. I was really proud to take my son to his first game, the penultimate game of the season which was a dedicated Children's day, one of many themed match days throughout the course of the season.

I had a fantastic role, in a fantastic year for the club, but any individual role would never be the same without the fantastic support of the whole DHST team. I had a fantastic level of support from a lovely, committed team and the wider Dulwich Hamlet Board.

Wishing all the candidates the very best of luck with the election!"