Carol Service - Chairman's Address

Accounts are still being finalised but it looks as though the 2017 Carol Service was another terrific Fundraiser.  The Trustees are so grateful to all friends of DDMT for their continued support.  It means so much to those soldiers and their families who look to the Trust for help to make their lives a little easier.  We hope you enjoyed the evening and will come back at the end of 2018.

Some of you have said you were not able to find collection plates on the night so if you didn't manage to donate you can still do so on our Justgiving page by following the link.

As a reminder of all that was achieved in 2017 as a result of your generosity here is DDMT Chairman James Broderick's terrific Carol Service address:  

Good evening,

Once again, it is wonderful to see so many people here this evening. Your continued support means a great deal to us…so thank you for attending!

As an introduction, my name is James Broderick and I took over as Chairman from Matt Burrows at the beginning of the year. Matt did an incredible job at guiding us through the last three years and it is a great honour I stand here today as the new Chairman. (Thank you Matt)

I can still recall a supper with the Dalzell family and Andrew Jennings when we came up with the idea of setting up the charity and still to this day, it amazes me how far we have come. The money we have raised which totals at £750,000, all the amazing causes and people we have supported it really is incredible. I miss my friend Dougie greatly and I know he will be proud of everything we have achieved.

Firstly, I would like to give a few quick thank you’s because as I am sure you are aware, it takes months of planning to organise such an event.

Thank you to all of our speakers this evening for making this service extra special. Everyone at the trust appreciates you giving up your busy schedules to support us.

Once again, we must thank everyone at St Mary Abbots for looking after us in this stunning church and hosting our service again. They have been so kind to us over the years and very accommodating!

The Choir have surpassed all expectations once again, their singing this evening, I hope you all agree, has been an absolute joy - thank you. 

To the trumpeters from the HAC for their stirring performance and to the Coldstreamers greeting us in all their finery.  Thank you very much and we are thrilled you are here.  We have a very close bond with the Regiment and we always look forward to sharing this evening with you.

Each year we have very generous Sponsors who help us cover our costs and that means as much money as possible can go to the Charity so I thank you all for your very generous support. 

Lastly thank you to Tricia Morris and the team who have spent the last couple of months organising tonight…having been involved in this process I know how much effort is required to deliver an evening such as this,  it takes a lot of commitment and all the trustees thank you greatly.

So what has happened in the last 12 months?


This year we said goodbye to Sandra Ankarcrona who stepped down as head of fundraising. Sandra did a fantastic job organising our fundraising efforts and her leadership, especially with the organising of the carol service was of the highest standard. Thank you Sandra!

This year’s Golf Day at Swinley Forest was a huge success and thank you to Joe Parkin as the organizer. Each year we seem to be incredibly lucky with the weather and Swinley was in great condition. Sadly, my name did not make it onto the trophy but at least one Broderick’s did with my mother and Ant Dalzell being this year’s winners. If you are interested in next year’s event please come and find me at the end of the service and I can introduce you to Joe.

As always we have had numerous people push themselves to the limit for the charity, we have had Marathon runners, tough Mudders and Ironmen gruelling it on our behalf. We even had someone do the ‘Nuts Challenge’….I would suggest being careful when googling that one but thank you to everyone who has supported the trust.

Special mention once again must go to Gilly Halcrow’s Special Operations Executive Talks, which continue to be an enormous success. Her lectures are incredibly well researched and a great way to learn about the history and exploits of the heroes of the Special Operations Executive during World War II.  Gilly has travelled all over the country for the last few years giving her talks and she has raised an incredible amount of money and counting and we cannot thank her enough for her ongoing support.

Our main task, though, is to find worthwhile individuals, causes and charities to support.

From January 2016 through to October 2017, we have committed a total of £88,693 to different causes.

In the capable hands of Gordon McGregor, the distribution team play the vital role of finding the right projects to support…they are forever searching/reviewing different applications for grants.

Some of the grants rewarded and those we continue to support are as follows;

DDMT Scholarship at Durham University. As you will know from her superb reading this evening, ‘Steph Atkinson’ is currently the recipient of the scholarship. I was very happy when Steph agreed to do a reading, as I wanted everyone tonight to be able to see someone in person who has benefited from the money we spend. I hope Steph will not mind me saying that they went through some tough times when her husband was medically discharged from the Royal Marines but with the help of the DDMT, she is now doing a Law Degree at Durham. Steph is an incredibly impressive women who I have no doubt will go on to great things and the degree will give her the foundations to do that…it’s the money you donate tonight that help family’s like the Atkinson’s.

Wings for Warriors and Walking with the wounded continue to be charities we support.

Kartforce – Which was set up to introduce injured troops into Motorsport where they can compete on a level playing field and rediscover their sense of adventure and self-belief through competitive sport continues to be a partner.

There are many more I could mention but the key message is that we want projects to support so please be assured that the money you donate will be spent on Injured Army personnel and their families.

So to the future…

We are a volunteer organisation and we rely on individuals to support us giving up their free time to help raise money so if tonight inspires you to take up a challenge and you wish to do it for the DDMT please let us know.

I am also on the lookout for more people to join our different committees whether that be fundraising, distribution or events…so if that is of interest please find me afterwards at one of the bars!

Lastly thank you to you, Thank you for coming and supporting us again. Please keep in touch through 2018 and please think of us if you are looking to raise money for a charity and contact us if you know any Armed Forces personnel in need of help.

Make sure you stay behind after the service and join us for a drink & a Brownie.

So, from everyone at DDMT, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.