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Student helps to grow awareness of thrifty living festival

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 21.56.57An 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 Churchrowska and Sarah Ingram, 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 http://www.festivalofthrift.co.uk/volunteer/

By admin