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Blackburn town centre allotment takes shape
YOUNG homeless people are helping to transform a piece of town centre land into an urban vegetable oasis.
Nightsafe’s pioneering project to turn two flower beds, opposite Blackburn’s main bus terminus, into mini allotments is one of the first projects of its kind in East Lancashire, with only Rawtenstall, Todmorden and the outskirts of Ramsbottom boasting similar schemes.
Nightsafe staff, who work in the adjoining Boulevard Centre, gained permission to take over the maintenance of the land from the Lancashire Telegraph which they will now use to plant easy-to-grow vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes and carrots.
Work will start this week to clear and turn the land with a small team of volunteers and service users.
They hope to use the vegetables in their own cooking when they are ready to harvest.
John Kearns, a 20-year-old who attends the day centre said: “It’s a good idea and I’m looking forward to tasting the produce at the end.
“I’m really glad to have the chance to learn how to be sustainable in day to day life and this just shows how easy it is for everyone to set up a project in their own community.
“We’ll also get some new skills and it’s already proving to be a good workout so will be good for keeping fit.”
Nightsafe supports people aged 16 to 24 and day centre co-ordinator Amanda Fletcher said: “We’re always looking for new projects to spark our young people’s interest and I think this will be a really good resource that we hope to carry on over the years.
“It’s cheap and encourages healthy eating and will brighten up a piece of land for everyone who passes it.”
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