Welcome to our new web site. We’ve put this up to allow us to be more responsive to events, and let more people participate. Please let us know if you’d like to be able to post messages here on behalf of the Residents Association, or a community group.
Some progress on the Fibre upgrade, which should make the Internet and Phones service faster, and much more reliable.
Ducts were installed under Fifth Avenue and Derwent Way last Monday (30 March). Fibre was laid in the ducts. We’re now awaiting OpenReach engineers to connect the fibre at both ends, then make the link live. The equipment at both ends belongs to OpenReach.
It’s been quite a wait. That’s partly because OpenReach originally wanted to install a cabinet on Fifth Avenue, which would require power, and maintenance. Having that equipment in the SSC instead is a much better option in the long run.
The Derwenthorpe Neighbour Support Network is now up and running with around 30 volunteers across the estate. In the first week of operation we have had a few calls on the help number, mainly for odd bits of shopping, and the feedback on help received has been very positive.
The telephone is monitored by one of our seven co-ordinators from 10am to 4pm every day. We’ve also registered the network with York City Council and York Centre for Voluntary Services so they are know we are here if they get any calls from our residents that we can help with.
Lou Cooper’s Pilates classes, much loved by many Derwenthorpe residents, have gone online for the time being. For more information email her at email@example.com or text/call her on 07587-182-683
A Derwenthorpe resident has been in touch with Pure Fibre asking about our levels of broadband service recently. Here is their reply.
We are sorry that you have been experiencing slower speeds than normal on the Derwenthorpe network. Unfortunately, since the Government’s closing of schools and advice for all to work from home as much as possible, in common with many other Service Providers, we have seen a consistent, unprecedented level of traffic across the Derwenthorpe network. With home schooling and home working increasingly requiring online access during the day and many more people at home at night rather than out socialising, we have seen a doubling of our normal traffic levels throughout the day.
With the network between Derwenthorpe and London being of fixed capacity, this has put tremendous strain on the network resources, resulting in saturation of the available capacity. We have therefore had to take measures to ensure that all Derwenthorpe subscribers get as fair and reasonable access to the internet as possible during peak periods.
We are exploring methods of increasing the capacity to Derwenthopre but this is likely to be challenging as most of the providers are operating skeleton crews offering critical support and not accepting or implementing new orders. We will however continue to engage with suppliers to see if a solution can be found.
In recognition of the reduced service levels at this challenging time, April bills for our Lightspeed package will reflect a reduced monthly rate of £21.60 for the service.
NowtOnat Derwenthorpe at the moment Supported by the DRA (the Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association) & funded by DPAC (the Derwenthorpe Partnership Advisory Committee)
Welcome to the first online only edition of LotsOn – the energy centre (aka the SSC) and practically everything else is closed, so there are fewer events to list (you’ll have spotted our jokey re-naming). But it’s already clear that the crisis is bringing out the best in our Derwenthorpe community, with many offers of support to those who need it, and lots of morale-boosting initiatives — which we all need. We’ve made it online only as it didn’t seem right to ask our valiant band of distributors to go door-to-door in current circumstances. It will be updated/added to as time goes on – if you hear anything which should be shared with your neighbours, please let us know, by sending details to the usual address – LotsOn@derwenthorpe.co.uk. We hope that we can resume normal service before too long – but it looks like that won’t be for several months.
Some actual events
Coffee Morning at the Burnholme Library isn’t on, so we’ve gone on line, by video chat. Fridays 11am. Find out how to join in. Bring your own coffee!
Afternoon Tea we’re also doing afternoon tea on Tuesdays, at 3:30. Find out how to join in, Er, bring your own tea!
If you’re reading this, you already know that the new Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association website – is now up and running, with new features to come. This site will allow us to be more responsive to events, and let more people participate. Please let us know if you’d like to be able to post messages here on behalf of the Residents Association, or a community group. Many thanks to Ian Eiloart and Phill Jenkins for all their work on this.
New ‘How to use your house’ guides now available! Some of the features of our homes, such as trickle vents and MVHR systems, are new to many of us. To help, a small group of residents have put together a set of simple non-technical user guides to the more unusual features of our homes. These are based on our experiences and research. While many features of our homes are the same, there are also quite a lot of variations, so you may find differences in your place. However, we hope these guides give you a good starting point. You will find them on the DRA website. We hope to produce printed copies for all residents in due course. We hope other residents will add to the guides over time. Comments or feedback should go to Amanda Potts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you self-isolating because of Coronavirus? Or just worried? The DRA has created aDerwenthorpe Neighbour Support Network on the estate who can help with odd bits of shopping, dog walking, advice on where to get further help, or just a friendly chat. If you need help call us on: 0771 287 2343.
If you want to get involved in providing support then email email@example.com with your contact details including address. All offers of help welcome!
The following organisations already have trusted volunteers offering help and support – and they are also taking on new volunteers and looking for donations:
York Neighbours – Help for over 65s with shopping and practical one-off jobs. Phone 01904-891-627
AGE UK York– offer essential services such as “our shopping service, telephone information line, and hospital transport provision.” Phone 01904-634-061
NextDoor – ‘the neighbourhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services’. On their interactive map (login required), those in need can easily identify which neighbours have raised a helping hand nearby. Neighbours who are available to help, can indicate on the map making it easy to organise help and support between neighbours in the neighbourhood.
City of York Council are looking for volunteers“to help protect the emotional health and physical wellbeing of residents during the coronavirus situation”.
Keeping in touch with friends and family: New to video-calling? The BBC have a reasonably simple guide to using Facebook’s WhatsApp or Apple’s FaceTime For larger meetings/groups, many people use Zoom – again, there’s a simple guide. And then, we gather (though we’ve had no personal experience of it) there’s HouseParty, described as ‘a face to face social network’.
Some cafes and restaurants, forced to close, have converted to take-aways. This blog post, byBec Horner attempts to list them. However, Bec points out that it was compiled on March 21st, and this is a fast-moving scene. Don’t rely on the information here – check first. (By the way, Osbaldwick Fisheries has decided to close to protect its staff; they will post any updates on their new Facebook site.
We know the broadband has been unreliable since, well… forever. That should change soon. The problem has been that the service relies on a single fibre that runs from the estate to London. If it gets cut at any point on the route, we lose service. If they need to do maintenance at either end of the route, we lose service.
Pure Fibre are working to fix this. They have commissioned a second line to London. The line will be provided by OpenReach, and the service by SSE. Pure Fibre will remain our service provider. In normal operation, this will provide Derwenthorpe with twice the bandwidth. If either line is cut, or otherwise unavailable, then the remaining line will be able to carry all the traffic.
The line requires a short dig on Fifth Avenue/Derwent way. This is due to happen on 30 March. In fact, it will be a tunnel under the school entrance, to the edge of the estate. Fibre should be run through the tunnel, and connected at either end. Then OpenReach will need to enable the service – and that might not happen that day.
I’m a bit nervous that this dig might not happen, due to the coronavirus problem. But I’ve emphasised the importance to both JRHT, and Pure Fibre. And telecoms is recognised as essential to the nation during this crisis, so fingers crossed, we should soon have a more capable service available 365 days a year.
How reliable will it be? Well, if the first route is 98% reliable (that seems to be about the right figure), and the second route is also 98% reliable, then the combined facility should give (1 – .02 x .02) x 100 = 99.96% reliability. That should mean less than four hours downtime in a year.
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to lose work recently, you might be interested in this from City of York council. They’re looking for drivers and loaders for their waste services team. I hope they can get them: otherwise people will miss bin and recycling collections. It could get quite messy!