Volunteering at KentCOG

Everyone is welcome at Kent Community Oasis Garden, whether you're an expert gardener, a complete beginner, or just coming along for a chat. Our volunteer group is made up of students, staff, and members of the community, and our sessions are very flexible so come along for as long or as little as you like!
A sunflower in the garden

Our open sessions run Wednesday and Friday,  10 am - 2 pm

Volunteering Information

Students: All students are welcome to volunteer at any of our sessions on the schedule. Sessions normally run from 10:00am – 2:00pm and students are able to attend the full 4 hours or drop in and out when they need to. There are sometimes opportunities to volunteer outside of this session, these will be communicated to students when relevant. 

Community Members: Community members are vital members of KentCOG, keeping the garden going week in and week out. Community members are welcome to all sessions on the schedule where they can meet new people, bring their knowledge on food growing and get stuck into some gardening each week (and plenty of cups of tea!) There is also an opportunity to meet students on the project and support their learning. 

University Staff: University staff are able to attend all sessions to get stuck into gardening themselves or to help support student activities. 

If you have any relevant skills (gardening, foraging, design, art, permaculture etc) and think you can help develop the project or facilitate sessions please email kentcog@kent.ac.uk

A group of volunteers with peppers that they have grown

What can I expect when attending?

All new volunteers are required to fill out a volunteering form which we keep securely to ensure your safety on site and to make sure you get the most out of your experience at KentCOG. (Please note – if you take a break or stop volunteering with us, your information will be destroyed after 3 months). 

Upon arrival you will meet Debi or Emily who will give you a welcome tour and a safety briefing, including how to keep everyone covid secure. Once you have received this briefing you will not need to take part in it each time you volunteer. 

We will then direct you to the activity of the day, supporting you as much as you need, or letting you get on with it if you feel confident to do so. 

There is always plenty of time for socialising and we always stop for tea and a lunch break! 

A volunteer group having a break

What should I bring?

Just yourself! As always, please dress appropriately for the weather and be ready for rain. If you have sturdy footwear, then please do wear these. We do have a limited number of wellies that you can borrow if you do not have anything suitable. 

Bring any snacks/lunch you may want with you and a bottle of water. We have clean water and tea/coffee on site. Oat M*lk is also available. 


How do I get involved?

You can just drop by one of our sessions. Our open sessions (Wed & Fri 10-2) do not require booking, however if you have any questions or want to let us know you are coming, please email kentcog@kent.ac.uk 

You can also just turn up to any of our wellbeing sessions or seasonal activities. 

Occasionally there will be additional events/activities that require booking. This will be communicated on the event information.

Meet the Team

The Kent Community Oasis Garden is run in partnership by East Kent Mind and the University of Kent. At our sessions you will meet Debi and Emily.   

A picture of Debi

Meet Debi 

Debi Adams (KentCOG Coordinator, East Kent Mind) 

Debi has spent the last 15 years working as an environmental educator in many different settings, working with schools, colleges and the community to promote the importance of healthy food and the role of nature in supporting growing. 

She is a committed gardener who enjoys working with groups to make space for nature in our everyday green spaces and to support everyone to ‘have a go and grow’. She is working in the KentCOG garden to not only support growing the best organic vegetables that we can produce but is also planning to increase the biodiversity pockets on site to bring nature closer and improve the benefits for the local wildlife, our growing plants and all our volunteers who work in the garden. 

A picture of Emily

Meet Emily

Emily Mason (Sustainability Coordinator, University of Kent) 

Emily Mason has spent 10 years working in sustainability and conservation supporting communities and institutions to transition to more sustainable activities; take action on climate change; enhance the environment for biodiversity; and support sustainable food chains.  She enjoys supporting people who want to take action in their areas, whether big or small and disrupting the status quo. 

Her current sources of inspiration include adventures walking with her dog, learning to macrame and watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on repeat. Her plan is to create a wetland area at the garden and get produce grown onto our menus at the University.

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