Earlier this month, popular STAND fanzine was crowned Fanzine of the Year at the 2016 Football Supporters’ Federation Awards. ‘I bet this makes all those late nights worth it,’ a lot of people have said to me in the days and weeks afterwards. It doesn’t. Not directly. I don’t want to seem disingenuous; it is a huge honour and something I am incredibly proud of, but it isn’t what makes the effort of putting the fanzine together worth it.
No, what makes doing popular STAND worth it, is when this little 40-page £1 fanzine makes a difference. When we’re able to hold people to account to a point at which other people take notice and begin to ask questions of the status quo – such as with Doncaster Rovers Belles’ relegation, and the infamous ‘experiment’ – and when we’re able to support our community.
Since I took over as editor five and a half years ago, as well as striving to produce a fanzine that is high in quality and reputation, I have ensured we’ve given away more money than ever before – to date, around £4,000. Now, at Christmas, it seems as good a time as any to make that £5,000.
As I wrote at this time last year, there are people out there voluntarily doing all they can to make our town good. To make it compassionate and comfortable, supportive and stronger. Taking the initiative to make a real difference at a time when genuine kindness seems to be the last resort of the people with the power to change the status quo.
So we want to support them – and it is being able to do so, which makes all the hard work, worth it; all the 4am page re-arranging, all the staying up ‘til 2am gluing the correct sub-headings into 360 copies of issue 84, all the listening to Donald Trump speeches in order to nail a decent parody, all of it. Thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy of, or a subscription to, popular STAND, and the generosity of those of you who pay more than the minimum £1 we are able again to give away £1,000.
But rather than give this to one organisation, we have instead chosen to split it between four small, independent local charities who are in great need of support and recognition for their work. So, today we have sent a cheque for £250 to each of the following.
Doncaster Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service
DRASACS aim to help local people who have suffered from rape and sexual abuse. They provide confidential services for adults, children and young people who have been raped or sexually abused, as well as family members who have been affected by the issues.
Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen
Guru Nank’s Free Kitchen is a project established by members of Doncaster’s Sikh community, which provides and serves free food to homeless people and those who need it.
South Yorkshire Women’s Aid (Doncaster) was established to fill the void left by the closure, forced by cuts to council services, of Doncaster Women’s Aid. It exists to give crucial support to women who have been the victims of domestic violence.
It is estimated that 850,000 people suffer with dementia in the UK. DonMentia aims to promote and protect the mental and physical health of sufferers of dementia, and their carers, in Doncaster through the provision of support and equipment.
Huge thanks once again to all who’ve purchased popular STAND, and all our brilliant writers, contributors and sellers who’ve made this such a rewarding year for the fanzine