Volunteer Info and how you can help
B4NTR is a local Volunteer organisation. None of us who put so much time and effort into the project are paid. We are hoping eventually our reward is excellent fibre broadband and along the way working with some great people and getting to know and engaging with our local community. Then finally in the future the project raising money from B4RN for the community similar to Ray Wind Fund CIC.
People can help the project in all sorts of ways and don’t need to sign up into the group as a volunteer and we’ll still all be forever thankful….
- Individuals signing up for government vouchers.
- Spreading to word to the community who more often than not still haven’t heard of us!
- The landowners who agree to wayleaves free of charge to allow others to be connected
- Helping us to get in touch with landowners if you know one on the route
- Joining us at organised local digs – to dig or to help in other areas from refreshments to just keeping up morale!
- Liking us on Facebook to help boost our reputation locally
But for those who are excited to help more, we have several areas we still need help in.
All roles aren’t really mutually exclusive, we tend to step in and out of each as needed. Volunteers need to sign up with B4RN by filling in a volunteer form, it covers privacy and you are not covered by their insurance without it. If something sounds like its your cup of tea just drop us an email as below or fill in a volunteer form through the menu above or click HERE
Message us through Facebook!
Phase 1 – Pre- planning
Spreading the Word – We need people throughout the whole project areas to just spread the word in their communities and encourage sign-ups of vouchers to help fund the project. This can be a big task, in normal times it would involve knocking on doors and explaining the project, helping people fill in the needed forms sometimes on their doorstep and explaining the next steps.
It’s all become a little more complicated since lockdown however we need to spread the word, not the virus, and can involve spreading the word by phone or online / social media trying to push for people to sign up for vouchers. B4RN give us targets since they simply won’t consider building in areas without the interest. It’s our job more than anything to let people know about the project and nudge them to sign-up.
The sign up link is https://b4rn.org.uk/postcode-checker/
It’s hugely important and the project won’t even get off the ground if much of this isn’t done! You don’t need to sign up to be a volunteer to do this, but if you do we can share info on who really has signed up and who forgot. Where exactly has good sign-up and none at all etc.
Phase 2 – Planning the routes
Mappers – People who are reasonably comfortable working with google maps and google earth and editing this information on our online route map(s). We commonly need to print off colour maps for landowners (so they are clear) but this is becoming less common as we tend to do more things digitally. Will receive requests from Talkers and Walkers for route changes. Also needs to liaise with head mappers and B4RN mappers for any changes to routes and being able to discuss why this is needed.
Talkers – Those people who are happy to take a lead. Talking to locals finding out who owns what and where – they tend to use our online google maps just for reference for the landowner boundaries. Then organise meetings with local landowners for themselves or others to walk the proposed routes. They will develop the confidence to change sections of routes when landowners feel they need changing with the understanding that routes have usually been planned with several other issues in mind.
Walkers – Liaise with Talkers and Mappers. Being able to use our google online maps to review particular landowner areas. Being able to a review and mini-survey on the ground. Need to be able to mark hazards (power lines, pipes etc) and areas where we can’t bury ducting or where mole ploughing could be difficult (thick woods, cliffs, lots of stone etc, small rocks aren’t a big problem). Feeding all this information back to their Mappers (map drawings a photos work well) and back to the Talkers if there are any significant concerns so they can discuss any further details with the landowners.
Phase 3 – Digging and Building
As we move into the build phase for the Barrasford project we will be looking for people locally who are interested in the following…
Village champions – They’ll be people who help look at the mapping and routing via online mapping (within google maps). They will look at the practically of how to work things in the village and be able to liaise with local home owners. They will lead efforts within their village to bring connections form the main routes into the homes. There may be some local planning of digs, equipment organisation etc.
Home Installers – They’ll be people with DIY level skills, they will learn from B4RN how to install the B4RN home kits and 6mm orange ducting across home owners curtilage to hook into the main route.
B4RN dig grants would be paid to B4NTR as a group helping to fund our work and equipment. B4RN will give (socially distanced) volunteer training for this.
This can also be paid work for local contractors. If you know anyone locally who might be interested ask them to get in touch, again training is provided by B4RN and once completed B4NTR will add your name to the B4RN approved list and pass this on to interested parties.
Equally if home owners feel up to the task of doing this themselves, they can simply keep their dig grant.
For the home kit, Installers need fit a fibre outlet internally, drill through the outer wall, fit an external box and then pull through and a ready made fibre which just sits in the external box ready for splicing. The splicing is then done separately without needing access to the home. Overall it’ll look similar to the first half of video below.
Installers will also need to work out how (with the home owner) and bury the 6mm orange ducting/pipe across the owners curtilage to the box on the outer wall.
Fibre Splicers – Highly skilled (and desirable) work. These people need to be patient with keen eye sight since they need to melt together glass fibres the thickness of a human hair! Volunteers who do this will be trained by B4RN to blow fibre from the nearest chamber into peoples outer wall boxes and then fuse the fibres in the box together with those blown from the chamber. The second half of the video below shows a similar procedure. (It should start it from the relevant point when you click play)
We need to get started on the above right away, so as soon as the main route is built we can have householders ready to connect up right away. We still also need volunteers to help in planning within the Woodburn and Kirkwhelpington projects, we’re going to be heading their way soon.