By Chris Slavin
In the latest instalment of our series on club volunteers, Hannah Kitcher explained why getting involved at AFC Wimbledon has made her feel at home.
For those who may have missed it in Saturday's match programme, the full article is reproduced below.
Brought up as a big Southampton supporter, it hasn't taken long for Hannah Kitcher to become an adopted Don – and to sign up for more volunteer duties!
Hannah has a job in communications, and has been putting her skills to good use for the Dons Trust, but this season she has also started helping the programme-selling team on a match day.
"I was brought up as a Southampton supporter, and my family are Saints fans, but I'd heard all about AFC Wimbledon being a good fans' club, and I decided to come to a game during the promotion season after moving to Tooting," said Hannah. "My first match was in January 2016, and after that I was hooked!
"I'm really enjoying getting involved with selling programmes this season – it's a great way to meet people and feel more a part of the club. I can't believe how warm and welcoming everyone is to new fans, and I feel really grateful to have been adopted into the club as a fan, as well as being given the opportunity to get involved. It's a unique thing to be part of, and I love it!
"I know Southampton fans who are season-ticket holders, and though they have an income they've had to give up their tickets because it's too expensive now. That's really sad. Football is meant to be about community, and going to the game shouldn't be as rare as going to the theatre or things like that. It's great to attend the games regularly here and to really feel that you're involved with the club."
Hannah's involvement all started in summer last year when she answered a call to deliver fixture lists to the local community, but she is now making a difference by boosting the Dons Trust's communications with its members.
"After the club got promoted, I saw an appeal from the club on social media asking for help to deliver fixture cards. I was working part-time back then, and I wanted other things to do for a couple of days a week. I thought that would be a nice thing to do. Then I saw another call from the Dons Trust for support ahead of the election.
"I now support the secretariat with minute-taking at board meetings and the AGMs/SGMs, writing up the board meeting summaries. I also upload content and news from the board to Webjam and the Dons Trust website, as well as monitoring the Dons Trust Twitter account. Now that it's election time again, I'm working with the Election Steering Group to promote that, and hopefully encourage more people to both stand and vote.
"Going forward, I think I'd like to be able to get more involved in supporting Charles Williams, who has been recently co-opted onto the DTB, with a specific focus on youth engagement. I'd like to help with our engagement with younger fans, but also all fans of the club who aren't currently part of the Dons Trust, to get involved and have a say in how their club is run.
"It took me a while to work out what the Dons Trust was all about and how it fits into the club more generally, because it has a very idiosyncratic and complex organisational structure. However, now I know what it's all about I can see the value and want to be able to help communicate that value to fans who aren't necessarily aware or engaged with it. I'm happy to help the club in any way I can as a volunteer because it's something I've really enjoyed getting involved with. I attended the Volunteers' Away Day at Swindon last season, and for me that really summed up what the club is all about."