A farming couple from North Devon have been honoured by the Prime Minister for their volunteer work in Kenya.
Richard and Heather Gibson, from East Anstey, have won a Points of Light award for helping to transform the community of Samburu.
After taking part in the BBC’s Toughest Place to be a Farmer in 2013, the Gibsons were inspired to fund, plan and build a borehole system to serve the tribal community.
The project cost £75,000 to build, and through their charity ‘Aid for Samburu’, Richard and Heather continue to provide funding for water maintenance projects in the region.
In a personal letter to Richard and Heather, Theresa May said: : “Your project is having a truly transformational impact on the remote Samburu community by providing thousands of people with access to water.
“You have both shown remarkable commitment in creating and funding the ‘Aid for Samburu’ project, and I wish you every success with your continued efforts to tackle drought in the region.”
Richard and Heather are the 1065th and 1066th winners of the daily award, which was presented to them by North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones.
Richard and Heather Gibson said: “We were delighted to have been recognised but this project would not have been possible without our hardworking charity committee and overwhelming support and generosity from our local community, as well as donations from afar.
“Having a passion for fellow farmers in a less fortunate position has been our driving force.”
Mr Heaton-Jones said Richard and Heater’s efforts were ‘yet another example of incredible work’ being done in North Devon.
He said: “What they have done is quite extraordinary and is the result of years of hard work and dedication.
“Richard and Heather wanted to raise some money to drill a bore hole but every charity they approached said that it was just too difficult as the location was too remote.
“This didn’t stop them and they just went out and did it for themselves, which is considerably easier said than done.
“Years later over 1600 farmers rely on the bore hole that they have created.
“They have saved lives and helped transform one of the remotest communities in the world.”