Can I volunteer?
All students are welcome to volunteer at our weekly Wednesday session. This session is specifically designed for students to meet fellow students, learn new skills and get the most out of gardening, socialising and wellbeing opportunities at KentCOG. Sessions normally run from 10:30am – 1:30pm and students are able to attend the full 3 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 are vital members of KentCOG keeping the garden going week in and week out. We are currently looking for new community members to help us restore the garden after periods of closure due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Community members will be invited along to a working party session every Wednesday 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 are able to attend either session to get stuck into the gardening or 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 email@example.com.
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 Emily Mason (Sustainability Coordinator) 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.
Emily 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!
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 for water. We have clean water and tea/coffee on site.
How do I get involved?
If you would like to come to our Wednesday sessions please book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org where one of the Emilys will respond and confirm your booking. Due to covid, we are limited in how many people can be on the site at the time so booking is essential, and you will need to email each week. We hope to be able to expand the limit over time. Please also join our mailing list (by emailing email@example.com) to stay up to date on our sessions and our safe reopening relating to covid.
The Kent Community Oasis Garden is run in partnership by East Kent Mind and the University of Kent. At our Wednesday sessions you will meet Emily is there to facilitate the sessions
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.