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Green Island Veg Economy

1446. Holly Maslen

Holly Maslen, from the Isle of Wight, created the ‘Green Island Veg Economy’ (GIVE) - enabling more than 7,000 people across the island to share their surplus home-grown fruit and vegetables with the most vulnerable during the pandemic.

Holly Maslen

Holly was inspired to set up the initiative at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to help foster a community spirit and assuage fears over food shortages, as well as a way of building on the Isle of Wight’s UNESCO Biosphere designation in 2019 by promoting a culture of self-sufficiency. Several stalls are now in place across the island for residents to drop off and pick up surplus produce.

In a personal letter to Holly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“With your ingenious Green Island Veg Economy, you have sown the seed of community action allowing thousands to share their home-grown produce and help nourish the most vulnerable in society.

“I hope that your brilliant initiative continues to flourish for a long time to come.”

Holly said:

“I am incredibly surprised, but honoured, to receive this award. ‘Green Island Veg Economy’ was set up in response to the uncertainty we all faced during the pandemic. I felt it was important to help make communities more self sufficient and at the same time create a new economy which didn’t involve money.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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