Student helps to grow awareness of thrifty living festival

Jo Martin on the farm

An enthusiastic marketing undergraduate who helps to run a family farm alongside her studies is working to spread the word about the Festival of Thrift.

Jo Martin, a final year student at Teesside University, has joined the team behind the award-winning event that is being held in and around the grounds of Kirkleatham Museum and Village near Redcar on September 17 and 18.

Having just completed the second year of the BA (Hons) Marketing course, Jo put herself forward as one of the students to join the marketing team when the Festival approached the University for volunteers for the 2016 event.

Before embarking on her degree Jo spent almost 20 years helping to run her family farm near Sedgefield and being involved in organising a number of local events.

She explained that she is keen to get some experience of working on a large festival to add to her CV which she is also aiming to boost with her degree qualification.

“I have always enjoyed working on events. I’ve worked at Race for Life events and organised competitions and social events for County Durham Federation of Young Farmers Clubs when I was secretary. For 4 years from 2010 to 2013 I was the Hon. General Secretary of Sedgefield Show and worked alongside the Chairman and committee to develop the event and attract families and new audiences with a range of marketing initiatives.

“It was a volunteer position so I stepped down thinking I would be able to secure a job but, at that time, employers were looking for candidates who had a degree.

“This made me decide to enrol on the course at Teesside University. So, in 2014 even though I was busy renovating two houses we had just bought, I started my studies and I haven’t looked back.”

Jo, who is working alongside two other fellow Teesside University marketing undergraduate volunteers Kamila Chuchrowska and Sarah Ingham, is assisting with volunteer recruitment and locating sites for thrifty outdoor advertising opportunities for the Festival. The event, which is a unique, family focussed festival, is a celebration of thrifty, common sense living and has become the pre-eminent national festival on how to achieve a stylish, sustainable lifestyle as well as offering a fun, engaging weekend to a broad spectrum of visitors.

Jo has her own experience of living thriftily adding: “Being a farmer’s daughter, wife and mum, and often cash poor, I am careful with the food I buy and we eat what is in season. We reuse wherever possible.  One example is when my parents were replacing their bath with a shower we took the bath and dug it in to the garden and it’s now used as a splash pool for the dogs.”

Stella Hall, Festival of Thrift Director, said: “It’s wonderful to have Jo and her fellow marketing student colleagues working as part of our team.

“Providing opportunities to share out the experience of being involved with the event is part and parcel of the event’s ethos.  It’s a great chance to develop skills.”

Chris Walker, Assistant Director of External Relations at Teesside University, added: “The University has supported the Festival of Thrift for a number of years and is delighted to work in partnership again to allow our students to gain valuable marketing experience. It is vital that students across all of our programmes are given first-hand industry experience and this is a fantastic opportunity for our marketing students to contribute to a large scale event which makes a positive contribution to the community and the region as a whole.”

The Festival is looking for volunteers to be involved in a range of roles at the 2016 event.  For details and to apply visit



  • The Festival of Thrift is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through apartnerships with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, PD Ports and Teesside University.
  • 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 Museum and Grounds is working in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation to deliver a new Catering Academy and Walled Garden as part of the restoration of the estate.
  • Kirkleatham village has one of the best collections of Georgian-style buildings in England and the almshouses on the Festival site, which were 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:


Teesside University



Comments are closed.

Festival of Thrift
Sign up to get updates
Photo Gallery
Be a Partner


Arts Council England
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
Tees Valley Combined Authority

with support from:

Web Development Cumbria by Colourmedia TM