Dozens of B4RN champions were at our HQ in Melling for our 2nd Volunteer Coordinator’s Day on Friday (9 Aug).
The event – for new and existing groups – aims to give volunteers a better understanding of how to plan, install and run fibre broadband networks.
Champions shared best practice and their knowledge and skills. The real challenges facing groups were recognised too, with those who’ve tackled them sharing their stories.
The day also allowed more experienced volunteers – who’ve “been there, done that” – to advise and reassure newer B4RN projects about their builds.
COO Tom Rigg kicked things off with an update on developments at B4RN. He also introduced champions to our new CRM system.
Following that, there were a series of workshops hosted throughout our base at Station Yard.
Upstairs, volunteers learned about the pre-build phase which covered wayleaves, mapping and project funding. In the workshop, groups were taught about builds themselves – everything from crossing roads and rivers, installing ducting, and what happens inside a cabinet. In our so-called ‘sandpit’, people got to see some splicing; and could have a go at fusing house fibre.
A special mention to Hilary and Barbara from Chipping Chain. The champion volunteer duo were awarded their “MBE” cards (that’s Member of the B4RN Empire!) and silver spades.
All who came were well fed by a Jacob’s Join lunch (thank you to everyone who brought something), while there was also an small exhibition of everybody’s favourite tool.
*The next Volunteer Coordinator’s Day is taking place in November. We’re planning on running February’s event on a Saturday.