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Last week at 'Let's Grow Preston'

Good afternoon and welcome to the latest instalment of the voluntary roles Alex Ashworth is enjoying and benefiting from, in and around the North West of Lancashire.

Last week I volunteered my time for a couple of hours for Let's Grow Preston. I arrived slightly earlier as planned at roughly 10.45am. I waited in my car till 11am for Paul Greenwood

to open up the pavilion at Ashton Park. Buzzing and raring to go Paul gave me the rewarding task of mowing the grass.

In the heat of the day I was sweltering especially as I had my thick jacket on and waterproofs. I was more dressed for winter than spring/early summer! Paul in-fact commented on my unusual choice of clothing, even as the sweat poured down my brow I was determined to finish my patch of grass to mow and felt more dressed as a gardener despite the absurdity of it.

By 11.15am another volunteer appeared and she continued her work on the peace garden which is really taking shape now and an act of clearance is rapidly taking place of the old shrubs/ grass areas that need depositing in replace of some more newer, colourful and inspiring flowers and plants.

At 11.45am I had concluded my stint of mowing and was in dire need of a coffee. Fortunately, Paul was more than ready to provide me with refreshments, the plus side being that I got to eat at least three chocolate biscuits.

Part two of the morning session included tidying the areas around the left hand side of the raised beds with a spade. It was awkward for the mower to reach these parts so Paul suggested at the beginning of the session that I use a spade once the mowing had finished and remove the long grass so it looked presentable.

I joined a fellow volunteer for the duration of the morning which took us up to 12.45pm. I helped her unload some debris to the skip and generally cleaned up the peace garden area where she had been working.

At the end of the session Paul suggested when I volunteer on a Wednesday to initiate the proceedings by mowing the grass then continue from there on in. I was thrilled by this prospect as it gives me the practical experience I need.

Paul showed us both where the completed greenhouse is located and the potential for more things to be implemented as time goes on for volunteers and staff.

It was an excellent mornings work and the bonus being the sun was constantly shining for us, if only I had left my jacket in my car!

This is Alex Ashworth signing off for another productive and life enriching time volunteering for 'Let's Grow Preston'.

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