Friday 27 November 2015

Jacobs Wells Community Hub website


I've been working on a volunteer basis with a local community group to help them set up a website. The Jacobs Wells Community Hub (JWCH) is aiming to get a community space in the Cliftonwood and Hotwells area of Bristol. They're also holding events for local people and generally trying to improve things in the area.

They already had a Facebook page, which meant they could keep people up to date and share events quite easily, but they wanted a website, partly to meet accessibility needs. Some people in the community aren't Facebook users, while the small text and extra clutter around the Facebook page isn't helpful for people with poor eyesight.

The Jacobs Wells Community Hub website
As they wanted to update the website themselves with minutes from meetings and events, I decided to go with Wordpress. From their point of view it would be simple to use, while the wealth of support and plugins would be really ace for me as a developer!

In my previous job at Bristol SU I set up a website for the city's Love Where You Live campaign, also using Wordpress. I used the Pictorico theme because it was very visual and the square boxy layout fit was in line previous Bristol SU projects.I showed this to JWCH and they liked the look of it, so we decided to use the same theme for their site.

The Love Where You Live Bristol website
I did a bit of customisation as the original theme has some slidy effects that aren't the most user-friendly thing in the world. They also wanted the group's main aim to be quite prominent, so I had to make room for it in the header.

Most of the tweaks I made were CSS based, but I had to fiddle about with some of the PHP as well. I've never learnt PHP and when I've used it before it's been with someone holding my hand, so I was little scared that I might break everything. The syntax isn't too awful when you're just dropping the odd statement into some HTML, so I managed to get it to do what I wanted.

I've got a few little changes left to make to the site but it's pretty much complete now. Take a look at the Jacobs Wells Community Hub site and let me know what you think!

It's been a nice change working on this. My day job no longer involves any coding at all, so I'm going to have to work on stuff in my own time so I don't get rusty. Next project will be rehauling this website. It doesn't look anything like what I want it to look like and the colours aren't very user-friendly. So stay tuned for that!

Friday 20 November 2015



I've just uploaded another batch of Digimakers photos to Flickr. Digimakers is a series of workshops in Bristol to teach young people about cool things they can make and do with technology.

I took these photos for my master's project about outreach in Computer Science. You can read a bit more about Digimakers in my previous blog post about it.

Here's a couple of photo highlights:


Raspberry Pi programming with Sonic Pi

Take a look at the full set of Digimakers photos on Flickr.

Sunday 8 November 2015

Cats and food


A long overdue update from me...tackling the photo backlog again.

Last year I volunteered for BBC Radio 4 and photographed an event that was part of Bristol Food Connections. There were lots of happy people trying out tasty food in the beautiful spring weather:

Slow Food 5 April 2014

You can look at the full set of photos from Slow Food on Flickr.

I also met a couple of beautiful cats that day.

One was relaxing in the sun:


The other was very intrigued by something but I couldn't see what it was looking at: