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Today at INTACT

Good afternoon blog followers. Welcome to the final update this week documenting Alex Ashworth's voluntary roles throughout the Lancashire region.

Today was the last Friday in the month which meant a visit to INTACT was in order. I arrived at The Intact Centre at approximately 9.15am and parked my eight year old Toyota Yaris neatly on the road. Signed in at reception and kindly asked a member of staff where Barry Mann was (tutor for my Intact sessions). They said he's not here yet so I made my way to the café and had a cheeky volunteer coffee.

By 9.25am Barry entered the café as I was reaching the end of my brew and he said some of the things we'd be working on this month. He also let me know of another volunteer who would be helping us out.

After a refreshing brew and a quick debriefing from Barry, I was more than ready to get on with the required work Barry had in store for me.

The first task was to have a look at the latest developments in the garden with regards to what has grown and to what extent. I was quite amazed to see the growth of the onions I planted a couple of months ago. In addition the turnips were looking quite epic as well.

It was great to see so much change and growth in the vegetables since I was last there and remarkably how much they'd grown in such a short time.

Barry also showed me the herb area where herbs such as thyme and coriander had grown. Some had done better than others but overall it was a good established bed.

He then introduced me to this morning's work. Basically it was an area at the back of the centre that had been overgrown with excessive weeds and grass. As Barry was highlighting this work the other volunteer appeared and, with a series of bags we all contributed to removing the weeds and grass from the border nearest to the fence.

By 10.45am we'd just about conquered it. Whilst doing our work Barry identified a tub that had old weeds in, soil and rocks. We both shifted the tub towards the planting area and I ( with the help of a spade and trowel) bagged the soil into a bag, Barry then deposited the rocks around the compost bin. During this time the other volunteer was busy weeding a series of beds.

Barry decided the bags with excess weeds and grass would sit comfortably in his car and he would remove them at his local refuse site.

At 10.55am we'd concluded our mornings work and it was high time for a coffee and, because we'd all worked hard we all got a biscuit each.

After 20 minutes or so drinking our brews, munching our biscuits and sharing our joys about what we love about gardening it was time for each of us to depart. The other volunteer was first to go, I followed suit and then Barry.

I said my goodbyes to Barry and mentioned that I may see him at Let's Grow Preston in the coming weeks otherwise back here towards the end of July.

This is Alex Ashworth signing off for a productive and therapeutic time at The Intact Centre.

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