Hannah Kitcher Dons Trust Board MemberGetting our priorities right

Dons Trust Board member Hannah Kitcher has news of the Board’s priorities for the year ahead, and which members will be overseeing which areas.

On this page in the West Ham programme in January, I said that I’d share with you my targets as a Dons Trust Board (DTB) member. By sharing our targets with members, you then have something to hold us to account for. I admit that I did promise to do this by the end of February, and we’re now in early March. It’s a relatively minor thing perhaps, but it is helpful and important that members know what they should be expecting from their elected representatives. Putting you properly in the picture also lets you know who you can speak to in relation to specific matters.

By way of explanation, we haven’t been able to communicate our priorities before agreeing on what they are. This we did at the most recent DTB meeting, where we decided who on the board would be responsible for overseeing their delivery, according to both expertise and level of interest.

We know there is a lot of enthusiasm and talent to help keep this club run by the fans and for the fans. We’re extremely grateful to the team we already have supporting us, including those involved in existing working groups and the secretariat, which is overseen by the DT Secretary, David Growns.

Get in touch with a board member if there’s something they’re working on that you’d like to get involved with. Drop by the Dons Trust kiosk on a match day or send an email to the appropriate person. Our email addresses all have the format firstname.surname@thedonstrust.org (except for Cormac’s, which is cormacvah@thedonstrust.org).

Stadium oversight remains a top priority. In order to retain some continuity, Roger Evans and Colin Dipple continue in their roles from last year. DTB Vice-Chair Rob Crane and Luke Mackenzie are joining them to support specifically on overseeing the consultation with members and fans. Mark Davis will be making sure that this all stays on track. As DTB Chair, Mark is also responsible for representing the Trust at monthly Football Club Board meetings and for the day-to-day liaison between the two boards.

We are also reviewing AFC Wimbledon’s long-term strategy. This will involve us asking DT members what sort of club they want us to be. Former DTB Chair Matt Breach was leading this work, and he explained in a previous programme that the last time any formal attempt to understand what the DT membership really wants for our club was made back in 2010/11, when we were still in what is now the National League. That consultation led to the development of a strategy which included a vision statement, a set of values and key aims, plus a full set of objectives and actions to direct the club towards delivering those aims.

Eight years on, with one of these key priorities – returning to Wimbledon – now very close to being delivered, it would be a good time to evaluate members’ priorities for the next five to ten years. Anna Kingsley, Cormac van der Hoeven and Roger Evans will be overseeing this work and will be looking for support from the Survey Working Group and others.

Improved engagement with existing DT members, and outreach to the rest of the fanbase, is another key priority for the DTB this year, particularly as this is something that I and the other newly elected DTB members highlighted in our manifestos. Rob Crane will be leading the development of an inclusive communications strategy that keeps members informed and engaged. Luke Mackenzie will oversee the running of an annual survey to gather the opinions of members and the wider fanbase. And I will be looking at potential options for improving how we have an open and responsive dialogue online with members and revamping the Dons Trust website.

With David Growns, I’ll also be looking at streamlining the process for becoming a member and revamping the IT systems that support the DTB itself. Finally, Jane Lonsdale will continue managing engagement with the Junior Dons and the Diversity & Inclusion working group. There will be more on the latter in Tuesday’s Peterborough programme.

Visit the board page of this website to see a full list of who’s on the DTB, what we’re responsible for and how to contact us. Perhaps you would like to volunteer your services to help us make the Dons Trust what you want it to be?

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