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Gavin’s Points of Light award for CoFarm’s Cambridge community success





CoFarm creator Gavin Shelton has had a Points of Light award bestowed on him by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

CoFarm produced 10 tonnes of food last year
CoFarm produced 10 tonnes of food last year

Since its first harvest in July last year CoFarm, which is based off Barnwell Road on seven acres of privately-owned agricultural land in the green belt next to Coldham’s Common, has produced 10 tonnes of organically grown food, consisting of 55 varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables valued at £40,000.

All produce has been donated to nine emergency food hubs across Cambridge to support people experiencing food insecurity.

Gavin plans to roll out the agroecology model across the UK to achieve 250,000 acres of community farming land by 2030.

Gavin is the 1,751st person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award – launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. He gave up a full-time role at a global conservation NGO in January 2019 to pursue a vision of bringing people together to grow and improve access to local sustainably-produced food.

Gavin Shelton, founder of the CoFarm agroecology model. Picture: Sam Mellish
Gavin Shelton, founder of the CoFarm agroecology model. Picture: Sam Mellish

Boris Johnson said: “In one year alone you have harvested and donated organic fruit and vegetables to the value of £40,000 to those in need across Cambridge. Along with your fantastic group of 300 volunteers, you have created something truly special in your community.

“CoFarm is a brilliantly innovative initiative and I wish you every success with your goal of rolling out your community farming model to 250,000 acres by 2030.”

Gavin said: “CoFarm is all about communities coming together to positively address ‘larger than self’ issues such as climate change, health inequalities and biodiversity loss.

“By repositioning regenerative food and farming at the heart of our communities, we can overcome these challenges together. This Points of Light award shines light on all of our amazing co-farmers – over 300 to date – who have put so much love, time, energy and joy into co-designing and co-creating their own community farm in Cambridge.

From left are farm managers Dominic Walsh and Peter Wrapson, Jessica Rowbury, Daniel Zeichner MP and Gavin Shelton. Picture: Keith Heppell
From left are farm managers Dominic Walsh and Peter Wrapson, Jessica Rowbury, Daniel Zeichner MP and Gavin Shelton. Picture: Keith Heppell

“Since the start of the pandemic, under the expert horticultural guidance of Peter Wrapson and Dominic Walsh, we have – together – organically grown over 10 tonnes of fruit and vegetables for those in our city who experience food insecurity.

“We thank the Prime Minister for his recognition of this community response and, in so doing, for shining light on needs that may otherwise remain hidden within our communities, our ecosystems and the soils beneath our feet. We look forward to positively addressing these needs together as we scale-up the CoFarm model with and for communities across the UK by 2030.”

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, on a visit to CoFarm last month, called the project “truly remarkable”.



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