volunteer in the walled kitchen garden
Meet our

hear from some of our volunteer team

Volunteer profile headshot Tina
Tina Mackie

I have been a volunteer at Cogges as part of the animal welfare team for a number of years. I usually work the same two mornings a week as my friend Brian, we divide the tasks and pretty much stick to the same routine. I look after the chickens and ducks, making sure they have clean water and enough food, collect any eggs and generally look out for their overall health. Brian and I then meet up in the pony stable to muck that out together, it’s smelly, hard work but I get a sense of achievement once it’s done. Cogges is a beautiful place to be in, it can be very peaceful. Lots of fresh air and space is a bonus and I get a real feeling that my small contribution helps to keep it going for the next generation.

Gill Munday

I am volunteering on the “Witney Remembers” Oral History Project. This is a Heritage Lottery Funded Project which was set up to capture and record people’s memories of Cogges over the years, and to bring these together in an exhibition. A group of about 12 people received training in Oral History back in September 2022, and then we got going contacting and recording people who worked here, volunteered here, or visited here - going right back to when it was a working farm under the Mawle Family. We are now bringing together memories on “What Cogges Means to Me” for the first mini-exhibition which we hope to put on in the summer. Both myself, my husband and both grown-up daughters have all worked at Cogges at some stage. My husband was the gardener here when Oxfordshire County Council operated Cogges; I came over to run reminiscence sessions here; one daughter worked in the café; and another did work experience in the kitchen! Cogges is a special little time capsule in the middle of Witney, beautiful in all seasons.

Volunteer profile headshot Kirsty
Kirsty Jackson

I joined Cogges volunteers to work with the Craft Group. It has been amazing to be involved with such a talented group of people. We have done such a variety of things from making costumes and items for the education team, creating Victorian items like the rag rug and bed quilt, making wall hangings and making small items to sell on our craft stalls. I have learned so many more skills, made many friends and had so many happy days there. It’s a joy to be involved in such a lovely place. 

Volunteer profile headshot Steve Braeger
Steve Braeger

I volunteer on the Welcome Desk at Cogges, usually two mornings a week, and my role involves greeting visitors, selling season and day tickets and handling any shop sales. I also help out at events such as the beer festival, theatre productions, craft and Christmas fairs. Volunteering is very rewarding and I have met a variety of different, interesting and friendly people - visitors, fellow volunteers and Cogges’ staff. Unlike some other volunteering roles Cogges is very flexible and I am not tied to specific days/sessions and I’m able to volunteer as often or as little as I wish depending on my other commitments.

Volunteer profile headshot Cereta
Cereta Drewett

I volunteer in the visitor reception and shop area which involves meeting people at the entrance and getting to grips with the computer cash register which is not too difficult. Visitors often ask questions about what is available to see in the house, in the grounds, the animals and where they can find the toilet! A little knowledge about Cogges Farm and history is useful including information about the Downton Abbey TV series. I volunteer for Cogges because it is an interesting place to be involved with. It has a long history and I often learn additional snippets. The garden and grounds are continually changing so there is always something to see. Through volunteering I have also met some lovely people which always enhances your life.

Volunteers Anne & Malcolm Pounds
Anne & Malcolm Pounds

As newcomers to the area in 2017, we really look forward to our two volunteer mornings at Cogges each week in the gardens and on the general maintenance and craft teams. Volunteering together is particularly enjoyable giving us a common interest. Although not necessarily working in the same areas we can catch up at coffee breaks and share in the activities of the other volunteers. Cogges is a wonderful relaxed setting and everyone is friendly and welcoming. The different talents and backgrounds of the volunteers makes every session informative and fun.