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People

Below is some background on some of the key people of B4RN East Anglia's founding management team.

The B4RN Company Directors and head office team are listed on the main site.

East Anglia Directors

Michael Davey, Regional Director

Michael is an Engineer and member of the BCS.   

Having completed a Bachelors in Engineering, Science and Technology at Brunel University, his 19-year career has included the design and maintenance of IPTV networks (predominantly Fibre-to-the-Home) and IPTV set-top-boxes.  He has experience of multi-million dollar consumer electronics and networking projects, including the design, procurement, project management, installation and commissioning of broadcast, broadband and Internet-of-things solutions. With his former employer, Amino Technologies plc, he has enabled customers including Vodafone (The Netherlands & Iceland), KPN (The Netherlands) and Turkcell (Turkey) to roll out IPTV services on their FTTH networks.  At the beginning of January 2017, Michael left Amino and joined CADS Group in Great Yarmouth as Group Head of Information Systems, looking after a team of eight Software Engineers and ICT Professionals. The team provides CADS' Information Systems product range including StoreSpace®, StoreView®, and SpaceStation®, the Groups' VoIP telephony, fibre networking and IT infrastructure across five sites in the UK, and internal and external technical support and training.

Michael has spearheaded the campaign to bring high-speed broadband to South Norfolk.  He is passionate about ensuring that this community and others in Norfolk & Suffolk are provided with an affordable, reliable and high-performance symmetrical gigabit Fibre to the Home (FTTH) broadband solution. 

Michael has lived in Kirby Bedon for 2 ½ years but is unable to work from home due to his home broadband connection topping out at 1.5Mb/s.  He firmly believes that decent internet connectivity is essential for education, work and entertainment in the 21st Century and that through a combined Community effort it is possible to deliver a solution for the rural “final third” that is far superior to the BT Commercial and Government backed programmes and will be future-proofed for generations to come.

David Evans

David is a qualified journeyman cabinet-maker, having served a 5-year apprenticeship with one of the UK’s top furniture manufacturers in Worcester. After 23 years he moved to another well established and prestigious firm of cabinet makers in Norwich. He travelled extensively within Europe, the Middle East and the USA, making, selling and fitting furniture. Clients included royalty, the rich and famous. 

David has lived in Tivetshall for 20 years, serving as Chair and Trustee of the local village hall for over 11 years. In Tivetshall he experienced increasingly poor telephone and internet connectivity. Since starting his own cabinet-making business in 2006, like many other local businesses, he has found the lack of reliable communications to be a serious challenge and recognises the limitations this puts on the development of rural communities.

Travelling for work has made David acutely aware of the opportunities afforded by good communications. In 2006 he began actively seeking a solution, his first move being the installation of Wifi in the village hall under a local government project. Sadly this ended when funding was withdrawn. He continued to champion this cause by seeking solutions via BT and local government, arranging public meetings and lobbying, but became disillusioned by the lack of action and broken promises. In 2016 he learned of the B4RN and B4RNorfolk projects. Inspired by the potential of bringing a world class internet service to Tivetshall and surrounding communities, he has been actively gathering support for this project that will greatly benefit all, but especially local youth who’s future depends upon it.   

Karl Jermyn, East Anglia Financial Officer & Secretary

Karl is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of business sectors. Having qualified with a local firm of accountants in 1997 he has been the Finance Director of property, financial services and food businesses and more recently held the role of Managing Director of a manufacturing business.

He has experience of leading multi-million-pound businesses, managing capital investment projects, advising business start ups and fund raising from both the private and public sector. He is currently Chair of a Board of Trustees with a local charity and has previously been Chairman of the local branch of Chamber of Commerce.

Karl has lived in Norfolk his whole life, the last 10 years at Whitlingham Hall, Kirby Bedon. Like many residing in a rural area, he is affected by poor broadband connections and he recognises that the problem will only increase as technology overtakes the future planned improvements to connectivity which are promised by the Government.


Founding Management Committee

Dennis Passingham

Dennis lives in Rockland St. Mary.  Dennis has taken on community roles in the past including Parish Clerk, Chair of a Village Hall management committee, Chair of village school governors, and Co-founder, Trustee and Hon Treasurer of SERV Norfolk charity. He is currently chair of Loddon Community Gym.  Dennis brings valuable trustee and auditor experience to B4RNorfolk.

Helen Adshead

Helen is a mum, wife, small business owner, school governor, online gamer and she has a real passion for community-based projects.  She also has a very active Christian faith.

Helen completed a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry at Surrey University in 1996. Following this she decided to pursue a career in the IT industry, initially working as a software engineer and then moving into system design and project management, supporting a number of companies over the course of a decade.

After relocating with her family to Norfolk she decided to become a school governor when her children started school. She also became a member of the local Village Hall committee and the school "Friends" committee.  For two years Helen was contracted as a part-time Business Manager for a cluster of 5 schools.  Through this role, she began working with a community project to build a community centre and sports hall for Harleston that would also be a home base for her church.  She continues to be involved with this project and is still an active school governor and last year was appointed as a National Leader of Governance.

Helen recently started her own luxury gluten-free and dairy-free food business and found her poor internet connection made it very difficult to submit HMRC paperwork online. She soon became aware of how many small businesses in her village suffered because of poor broadband speeds.   Through this experience, Helen is committed to investing her time and skills to improving the quality of broadband speeds in her community.

Dudley Adshead

Dudley Adshead is a Software Engineer.

Having completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at Greenwich University in 1993, Dudley has worked for more than 20 years in the IT industry building a wide range of software applications for various companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Universal Music, Credit Suisse and AVEVA Group Plc.

Dudley has lived with his family in Tivetshall St Margaret for over 10 years and sometimes works from home to reduce his commute to Cambridge. However his poor broadband connection means video conferencing is impossible, so he often has to travel to work just for a meeting when he could have easily worked from home. His two children, now both at High School, also have problems when trying to use the internet to do their homework. With most young people these days preferring to watch YouTube and other streaming services, it has become clear to him that harmony in a modern family requires a much faster broadband connection!

Having totally lost confidence in the incumbent to improve the broadband in his village, he jumped at the chance to get involved in a community effort that could finally bring extremely fast and future-proof broadband directly to his house.

Tony Jollans

Tony, now retired, has spent most of his working life with computers. From writing machine code on punched cards, to project management, his broad experience, both at home and abroad, has most often been with major financial institutions. Whilst Tony’s experience predated the commercialisation of optical fibre, his knowledge of computing fundamentals helps him understand the technical details, and his experience of project management allows him to see the bigger picture.
 
Tony has lived in Tivetshall for over 20 years, has been on the local Village Hall Committee since 2010, and the local Parish Council since 2012, having served as Chair for some three years. His community credentials are further evidenced by his having received the Microsoft MVP award for community contributions, for nine years. Although his own broadband connectivity might be considered adequate by some, he understands the importance of providing a 21st-century infrastructure for all in his community, as well as those in other small rural communities, ignored both by Government and large commercial interests.


Paul Downes

Paul is a self-employed consultant. He is MSP/PRINCE2/AgilevCertified Programme & Senior Project Manager who has operated across diverse sectors including Retail, Utility, Financial Services, Insurance and Telecoms, to drive forward complex transformation and change programmes, underpinning service launches and managed service contracts. He led programmes involving cloud hosting, data centre and network infrastructures, fixed & mobile telephony, SAN storage, and server virtualisations.


Chris Marsden

Prior to retirement in March 2016, Chris spent 44 years in Town and Country Planning in both Local Government and as a private sector Planning Consultant. He has also worked in the private sector house-building sector as part of an industry pressure group influencing Government Planning policy. He has had a wide range of experience in many development sectors including minerals and waste, commercial and industrial developments and has contributed to the production of many Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in support of major developments which he has also project managed. Acting as a professional witness at many planning appeal inquiries has also featured throughout his working life.


Lesley Marsden

Lesley (Chartered Member Landscape Institute retired) has had over 30 years of experience working in both the commercial and private sector as a landscape architect. Her career has been diverse involved in the design and implementation of projects, such as Highways England road schemes, Manchester airport terminal 2 and a number of business parks. Latterly working for the Broads Authority she designed and project managed a large number of external soft and hard works projects using external contractors. Other aspects of her work required grant funding applications and designing schemes with the community. Whilst at the Broads Authority she worked in partnership with UKPN on a multi-million-pound project to underground overhead electricity cables in the Broads Executive Area. Prior to retirement, she was principal landscape architect at Norwich City Council. She has also built her own house with her husband Chris Marsden in the village of East Ruston.


Greg Chapman

Greg took early retirement at the age of 50 in 1998 after a more varied career than most that included full-time work in banking, youth work, accountancy (in a factory setting and later a Chartered Accountant's office), retail jewellery, community work, emergency planning, computer training and writing softwareFollowing retirement, Greg has devised and delivered various computing and digital photography classes for Norfolk's Adult Education service, writing a column for both the "Lynn News" and "Anglia Afloat" and wrote "Internet Banking and Shopping for the Older Generation" (still available, but now of historic interest only)! Besides various personal web sites, he is also retained to maintain a small number of websites for national and local organisations.  Greg has lived in Norfolk on and off since 1975. He now lives in East Ruston with his wife, Diana, where he acts as treasurer for Stalham Baptist Church, plays in a couple of bands, and attempts to manage the grounds around his home (hardly a garden!) to maximise wildlife.


Jane Lesley

Jane has been running The Business Events Bureau for 28years, a company which offers a bespoke event management service to major blue chip companies in the UK. Prior to this, she had a career in High Street Retail Management latterly running x150  Fashion Stores. She brings to the table strong project management experience coupled with sound financial acumen. Jane relocated up to Norfolk from London five years ago and loves the change of lifestyle in all ways apart from the frustration of the pitiful poor reception she gets from her rural broadband. She says, it is a pleasure to be involved and campaigning for this community project to bring fibre to the home in rural East Anglia.