Don Swanton Award

Don Swanton was a resident of Burston and Shimpling who went ‘above and beyond’ to support the community. Each year the Don Swanton Award is presented to a person or group who have supported the community in a special way.

This year, in an event organised by Cllr Angela Belgrove on behalf of the Burston and Shimpling Parish Council the award was presented to the team of volunteers of B4RN, the community led organisation who have installed 1 Gigabit broadband throughout the Parish.

Angel Belgrove explained that the team, who had been brought together by Brian and Jane Fishwick, had worked in all weathers, from 33 degrees to below freezing, to install the fibre cables across fields and ditches, and had installed routers in many homes. Sometimes the installations had not gone smoothly, but in the end most of the homes in the villages had been connected.


Jane Fishwick, accepting the award, said that sometimes they had thought of giving up, especially when it took six months to get permission to bring the cables across the railway line. The project was now nearly complete, and the Church and the Strike School would be connected soon.

Jim Howard, who had organised the teams of diggers and trenchers thanked the villages for the confidence that they had shown in the project. It was a leap of faith to leave BT and other major suppliers to go with an organisation that they had probably never heard of.

The award ceremony, which was well attended by local residents, was held in sunshine on Church Green on Sunday 22nd May. Other members of the team at the presentation were Chris Humphrey, who had provided equipment, and who undertook a lot of work, Lyn Howard, who provided cakes, organised volunteers and was also seen with her sleeves rolled up, and Alison Wakeham who tackled the paperwork.

If you would like to be connected please sign up here Can I Get B4RN?