Programme Notes v Dartford

Welcome to today’s game against Dartford for this National League South league fixture.

The Supporters’ Trust are pleased to continue to actively promote International Women’s Day, which is this Friday (8 March) and today you will be able to purchase a new purple and white (IWD colours) scarf from the Mega-Container shop.  The Club and Trust first started to promote IWD in March 2015 when we sent out vouchers with free tickets to women’s football teams & leagues across the Capital.  Since then we have raised money for a number of female organisations by auctioning off a specially designed first team purple kit and selling Suffragette coloured scarves to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which first gave women the right to vote.

Since 2015 we continue to see a steady raise of female fans attending our games at Champion Hill and currently a third of the elected Trust Board are female.  Fans from other clubs often comment on the diversity of our fanbase and this is down to our club’s reputation of being welcoming to all the members of the community.  As a female fan I am proud of the fact that I have always been made to feel welcome at Champion Hill and I was encouraged to become an active member of the Supporters’ Trust before being asked to seek a seat on the Trust board.

Since our return to Champion Hill, female fans will have noticed that we now have free sanitory items in the toilets.  The club has been working with On The Ball (@OnTheBaw) who campaign for free period products at football grounds and Dulwich Hamlet are part of 68 other clubs who’ve joined this scheme.  We should also acknowledge the help of our local neighbouring Sainsburys who provide most of the products.

Profits from this year’s IWD scarf sale will be split between two local organisations. Today we welcome Terri and Christina who are volunteers from the Red Box Project who are a community-based, not-for-profit initiative.  They aim to support young people throughout their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools so that no young person misses school or suffers embarrassment because she has her period.

Beth, who is another volunteer at the Red Box Project, and whose Son is a massive Dulwich Hamlet fan, explained to us a bit more about the charity.

“The Red Box Project gives young women in need – whether for financial or social reasons – the reassurance of being able to take enough products for their entire period. We sponsor and stock a red box filled with period products, spare pants and tights.  The box is kept with a designated member of staff in the school and posters placed in the girls’ toilets encourage a young woman in need of period products to ask for the red box.”

Beth continued, “In Southwark, we have Red Boxes within most secondary schools and in just over 40% of primary schools.  We have donations points at local businesses where people can drop off donations of period products and in East Dulwich you can drop off donations at Rye Books, Goose Green Clinic and Punk Me Up Café.   Funds that are raised through initiatives such as the Dulwich Hamlet International Women’s Day scarf go towards buying boxes, pants and tights (these items are more expensive and not donated as much as packs of pads).  All your donations will go towards ensuring that no child or teenager in Southwark has to deal with the stress and worry of period poverty.  For more information about us and what we do, visit our Facebook page RedBoxProjectSELondon “.

The remaining profits of this years’ scarf will be given to a new women in football project, unfortunately the project cannot be revealed just yet… but watch this space!

Today we are also having a sale on selective merchandise items. For those seeking a Spring bargain, get along to the Mega-container before or after today’s game, where you will find a third off a number of our ranges. We’re having a bit of a spring clean to make room for some new ranges over the Summer, so you can pick up polo’s and T-shirts for as little as £10 and some very natty team wear for under £20. Take a browse through the sale rail while stocks last.

Enjoy the game and Forward the Hamlet!

Mel Hughes

Merchandise lead