Larchfield Craft works towards a fabulous Festival of Thrift

Larchfield Craft

A Middlesbrough Camphill Village Trust community craft workshop is gearing up for this year’s Festival of Thrift event after the runaway success of its products at last year’s event.

Larchfield Craft is busy creating even more of its uniquely created pieces to sell on its stall at the festival which is being held at a new venue this year in Kirkleatham on 17 and 18 September.

Colourful felt hangings made using wool from the Larchfield Community farm, cushions created using recycled offcuts of material, rugs consisting of recycled t-shirts and hand-painted herb boxes crafted from donated wood are just some of the items that the workshop members are currently hard at work preparing.

Sarah Fishburn, who heads the craft team at Larchfield Community in Hemlington, near Middlesbrough, said that last year’s Festival of Thrift had been a wonderful event for the team and raised valuable revenue that was ploughed back into the running of the craft workshops.

“We were completely blown away by the event.  It was the first time we had been involved with the festival and we were overwhelmed by the success we had in a number of ways.

“Not only did we sell out of all the stock we had for sale, we were able to raise awareness of what we do at Larchfield Community and our own events too.

Sarah added: “Our ethos here is that everybody contributes and our aim with the crafts workshop is to provide meaningful and therapeutic work opportunities for the people we support and to produce things people want to buy.”

“Last year’s Festival helped to show us that our merchandise is very marketable. I had to dash back from the Festival to restock with items we left over from our Christmas event and they all sold too.”

Festival Director Stella Hall said: “Larchfield Craft are brilliantly thrifty in their approach and make gorgeous things out of materials that would otherwise go to waste.

“Helping people to be stylishly sustainable is what the Festival of Thrift is all about and they set a marvellous example of how successfully it can be done.”

The Festival of Thrift, which is the UK’s only national celebration of living sustainably with style and last year won the Observer Ethical Award, is back for the fourth year running on 17 and 18 September at a stunning new venue in and around the grounds of Kirkleatham Museum and Village near Redcar.

A unique, family focussed festival it is a celebration of thrifty, common sense living and has become the pre-eminent national festival on sustainability and thrifty living, offering a fun, engaging weekend to a broad spectrum of visitors.

One of the central elements of the Festival of Thrift is around developing new skills and sharing and each year the Festival offers a host of reasonably priced workshops lasting from half an hour to over an hour.

Ranging from jewellery or bread making, upcycling furniture, painting techniques the programme aims to have something for everyone.  Details at
Larchfield Craft

Iain Anderson from Larchfield Craft

Larchfield Craft

Claire Morley with support worker Sue Williams at Larchfield Craft

Larchfield Craft

Uniquely created craftworks being prepared by Larchfield Craft for the Festival of Thrift

Larchfield Craft

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Media enquiries:
Rachel Smith, , 07905215712

• The Festival of Thrift is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through partnerships with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Teesside University and PD Ports .
• The Festival was born in Darlington in 2012 and is growing up across the Tees Valley region, with a move to Kirkleatham for its fourth event.
• In 2015 the Festival won the Arts Award in the Observer Ethical Awards, which celebrate the people, organisations and campaigners who are leading the way to ensure we have an ethical future.
• The Festival won gold for the North East Tourist Event of 2015.

2016 event
• The Festival of Thrift takes place on Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18 2016 10am – 5pm at Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds near Redcar on the north east coast.
• It is located in the tranquil village of Kirkleatham, in and around Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds, a Grade II listed building which dates from 1709 and now houses Kirkleatham Museum.
• Kirkleatham village has one of the best collections of Georgian-style buildings in England and the almshouses on the Festival site, which were built in 1676, are architecturally and historically notable.
• Sustainable transport options will be available to help festival goers get to the site, more details to be made available soon.

Useful links:
• About the festival:
• Footage of Festival of Thrift 2015:
• Festival team:
• Annual report 2015:
• Observer ethical award 2015:

Larchfield Craft
• Larchfield Craft collaborative artwork and craft creates new opportunities for adults with learning disabilities through partnerships with the local community,
• Instagram/larchfieldcraft
• Folksy/


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