A WEB developer turned gardener is looking to make a positive change to the Colchester community despite encountering hurdles every step of the way.

James Osborne, 34, grew up in care and had to rely on foodbanks for a large portion of his life.

His experiences growing up taught him the importance of fresh food and nutritious meals, a principle that he has carried into his adult life.

Last year, James managed to secure a plot at Notley’s Allotment, near Harwich Road, Colchester, with hopes to start a community allotment, where anything grown would be shared with food banks.

Gazette: A selection of fresh produce grown by James, delivered to food banks across the city.A selection of fresh produce grown by James, delivered to food banks across the city. (Image: Newsquest)

Gazette: James Osborne, 37, a web developer turned grower on a mission.James Osborne, 37, a web developer turned grower on a mission. (Image: Newsquest)

James put the word out to other plot holders, asking them to help his cause by sharing excess crops. Initially successful, James was able to share the fresh food with Beacon House, the Hythe Community Fridge and the Colchester Foodbank.

Since starting the plot, James has had to overcome several hurdles from his car breaking down to fires and fly-tipping.

James’ car problems made it difficult for him to get to the site from his flat in Lavenham. Despite this, he still managed to take buses so he could carry on his mission of growing potatoes, onions and beetroots for those in need.

James shed was also the subject of an arson attack leaving him without an area to store his tools.

The site has also been subjected to a spate of fly-tipping, which James has struggled to clear by himself.

Despite all of the challenges, James had continued to provide Colchester’s most in need with fresh produce.

He has now started a crowdfunding page where he will attempt to raise money to purchase a refrigerated van.

Gazette: Flytipping has been a frequent issue on the siteFlytipping has been a frequent issue on the site (Image: Newsquest)

James said: “The idea is to get a refrigerated van, where we can also get surplus produce from local growers, vendors and farmers, to then be shared with food banks.

“I am a web developer, I do love growing things from websites and businesses to vegetables and communities.

“To know that you are making a difference, that’s what this is about, helping to feed people and families and put it on the plates of people in need.

“I just feel like every single step of the way I am getting a knockback when it should be simple, you grow food, you donate it.”

To follow James' journey, or offer help, follow his Instagram page at tinyurl.com/4yrk2jre. To donate to his cause, visit tinyurl.com/294t3e52.