Press Release: Digital Destination helps environmental business.

PJ.elements has received a 40% grant to update and redesign their website.

After 3 years of trading Pete Johnstone the owner of PJ.elements  felt that the existing website needed a redesign to take into account how the business has developed and grown over the years.

PJ.elements based in Cambridgeshire provides project development, funding advice and support and photography services to community and environmental enterprises across the UK.

Pete Johnstone said, ‘’ I am really pleased with the grant from Digital Destination as it has helped me develop my website which has encouraged greater business opportunities. The additional consultancy advice and social media training offered by Digital Destination has also been invaluable in getting me up to speed with digital marketing.’’

Destination Digital is the project from Connecting Cambridgeshire (led by Cambridgeshire County Council) to help small businesses use digital technology.  Small and medium companies, sole traders and charities can currently get the following free support:

  • Connection vouchers worth up to £3000 to install superfast broadband (Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire only)
  • Free advice with a consultant on how to grow your business using online and digital technology
  • Grants providing a 40% discount up to £4000 on buying digital equipment and services for your business.


For more information on how Destination Digital can help local businesses, visit:

The PJ.elements website was redesigned by Koinoniaweb


Pete Johnstone


Mobile: 07842 572 632


(SMARTER) Environmental Communications (UK)

A photographer friend of mine Niall Benvie has just launched his new website and it is a pleasure to review and promote it here.

Niall is famous for his photography especially his meet your neighbours project where it aims to reconnect people to wildlife on their own doorsteps, to enrich their lives and to make the point that you do not have to travel far to see wonderful wildlife, as quite often, it is near where you live.

However, what I really like about Niall’s work is his environmental messages he uses in his work and with his clients. To my mind the environmental sector needs more thought provoking and powerful messages  to get  ideas across – call it advertising or marketing but, all round, we need smarter green communication to reach a mass public audience.

I hope you enjoy dipping in to Niall’s website and don’t miss out on his work for 2020VISION and his Rewilding Childhood images under Stock photography.

Niall can be contacted at:

Water Life Photo/images: Niall Benvie ©

Rivers and Wetlands Community Days (Thames Water area)

I have just heard of a new initiative sponsored by Thames Water with the Wild Trout Trust, Environment Agency and the Angling Trust who are all taking part to improve community participation around rivers, estuaries, wetlands and coastlines.

The Wild Trout Trust is looking for community projects to be undertaken in the Thames area this autumn around the global World Rivers Day on 28th September 2014.

This sounds like a really good partnership between a private water company and the environmental sector. Does every water company in the UK run similar schemes? If you know of any good current ones it would be good to hear of them – please email to me at

Or alternatively, if you have a good idea for one, whether you are a water company or a NGO please get in touch to discuss the idea.

Funding:  3 year programme of £50k per year. Individual project awards of up to £5,000

Deadline: 25th July 2014


Environmental crowd funding– Please support the Sensory Trust (UK)

gofindit! a fantastically fun way to explore nature

You might have already heard about the game the Sensory Trust are developing. Its called gofindit and its an instant natural treasure hunt, with cards representing different sensations and sensory characteristics you can find in nature. It’s a really simple, fun game that can be played in many ways anywhere really, down on the farm, at a picnic in the park, on a walk in the woods, at the beach, wherever.

The Sensory Trust are raising funds through crowdfunding to develop the game  – the card game can be used by children and adults in urban and rural locations – it is a fun way to explore the outdoors using all your senses.

The Trust need to raise £2500 and to date (12th May) they have raised just over £1000 with 28 days to go – please pledge whatever you can to support this project and forward this message so others can join in!

If you have not used crowdfunding before, but were just waiting for the special project  – this could be the one to try it out.

Thank you, Pete


Deadline:  9th June 2014

Coastal Communities (2014)

The BIG Fund has announced that the third and final round of the Coastal Communities Fund will open in January 2014. The fund will provide grants in excess of £50,000 to support economic development of a wide range of projects that support charities, the environment, education and health.


£1 million for Rethinking Parks

Big, HLF and Nesta have launched a new programme to develop and test new business models to help parks thrive. The funding which is available for not for profit organisations and partnerships can be used for new staff, external consultancy, training and marketing.

The programme will fund 100% of costs. Grants of up to £10,000 are available to test new options for generating income and managing their park. It is expected that the programme will support 8 – 15 organisations or partnerships.

There are a series of workshops available and a new booklet by Peter Neal.


2020VISION and Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth is delighted to be working with 2020Vision, an inspiring photography project showcasing inspiring initiatives that aim to reconnect and repair damaged habitats. The exhibition is a striking visual confirmation of what Friends of the Earth works so hard to achieve.

2020Vision’s fresh thinking about conservation strikes a chord with how Friends of the Earth sees things differently.

We know the world faces huge environmental problems, but we also know there are ways to fix these problems.  As the 2020Vision Roadshow so clearly shows we live in a beautiful world, one we depend on, so we need to keep in good shape. We’re working to ensure that the things in nature that you most cherish can be enjoyed for generations to come and we’d love to see what you’re most inspired by.

We want to see what in the natural world is most precious to you.  The one thing in you can’t image life without. Text us your photo to 88600 with the word EARTH for a chance for your image to feature in our Picture the Earth event later this year. What’s more you could win a copy of the 2020Vision Photography book.

Kat Heath
Friends of the Earth

For more information about our work and the Picture the Earth project please visit

The Community Forest Trust and Spacehive

With the help of PJ.elements the Community Forest Trust has just signed up to an initiative page with Spacehive.

The Trust supports Community Forests and other community forestry initiatives to help make things happen on the ground. Initiatives that the Community Forest Trust is currently working with include; The Mersey Forest, Red Rose Forest, Pennine Edge Forest and the Forest of Mercia.

Since 1991 the Forests have been creating new woodlands, helping to improve existing green spaces, greening urban areas and encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to explore the outdoors and to discover the countryside on their own doorstep.

Tony Hothersall, Director of the Red Rose Forest explained, “This all takes time and money and we are giving crowd funding with Spacehive a go to explore it’s potential and to see if social media cannot only draw in new interest into the Forest, but raise some cash as well. We have one project up on Spacehive already and more projects, including local street planting schemes will follow shortly”.

An Initiative page is a branded home page on Spacehive that provides a hub for organisations to host their portfolio of projects. Initiative pages can show all stages of development – from concepts to fully funded schemes, meaning that they are a great way to showcase the scope of activity around your campaign, product or service.

If you are keen to set up an initiative with an environmental focus please get in touch with PJ.elements.

Pub is the Hub (UK)

Pub is the Hub has just announced the launch of the new Community Services Fund to help pubs diversify into community services.


Crowdfunding the environment

It is always pleasing, but sadly frequently rare these days to see new fundraising opportunities coming through to support environmental improvements.

Well, crowdfunding is one that deserves some further investigation. Crowdfunding is essentially online fundraising and has typically supported a whole range of start-up businesses such as film and art type projects, particularly in the United States.

In the UK there are a number of crowd funding platforms but one, Spacehive, has been set up specifically to lead on public space and environmental work where there is a clear public benefit.

As with anything new there is always uncertainty as to whether it will work or not, but I reckon with the rapid growth of digital networking, the growth of digital fundraising will not be far behind – where local people, businesses, supporters and visitors alike will be keen to support projects that they feel an affinity towards and in so doing pledge some money.

The need may be for a new hedgerow, a school nature garden, a local tree planting project or a new or enhanced community greenspace or perhaps an imaginative nature conservation project that can capture the public interest.

Being adventurous, I can even see footpath improvements and longer trails being supported by crowd funding, as realistically where else is the funding going to come from to fund these initiatives in the future?  True, lottery funding is here to stay but I guess that if you can prove local support by raising a proportion of the funds through crowd funding then that can only help your case.

So have a look at the Spacehive site for more detail and to see how it might fit your organisation, you can post a single fundraising project on Spacehive or get your own branded initiative page that will help raise the profile and marketing of your environmental cause. I would be interested to hear from any organisations thinking of setting up their own initiative page.