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Thrifty festival given a helping hand from community benefit fund


Sep 5, 2016

Stella Hall from the Festival of Thrift and Jonelle Bain, from Tees Valley Community Foundation.A thrifty festival aiming to help regenerate Redcar and Cleveland has been given a helping hand from a Teesside community benefit fund.

The award winning Festival of Thrift, which began in 2013 at Lingfield Point, Darlington, will now move to Kirkleatham in Redcar to provide a free weekend of fun and thrifty activities for people of all ages.

The festival, which will be held on the 17th and 18th of September,  has received support from Tees Valley Community Foundation on behalf of EDF Energy Renewables, operator of the Teesside Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Redcar. The support will allow organisers to run the festival community volunteering and training programme.

Stella Hall, festival director, said: “The festival has a focus on inspiring people of all ages to begin new hobbies and crafts which develop new skills and ideas on how to live sustainably.

“Another aim of the festival is to create a positive impact on the local community. We are committed to the regeneration of Redcar and Cleveland through bringing new businesses to the area, promoting Tees Valley nationally and inspiring local people and boosting the local economy.

“None of this could be done without help from the army of volunteers and support from sponsors that step forward every year.

“The support given to us by the Tees Valley Community Foundation is fantastic. It has enabled us to provide a fun event for everyone, as well as the opportunity to inspire the local community with ideas on how to live a sustainable lifestyle, which could include lifelong skills or opportunities to transform an idea into a moneymaking entrepreneurial project.”

Volunteers can be aged from 16 to 70 and this year the festival will also be working with the National Citizen Service to encourage young people not in education or training, giving young people the chance to develop life and work skills. Festival organisers have also recruited  local students from Teesside University, Cleveland College, and apprentice chefs from Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar Colleges.

Volunteers are encouraged to dedicate half a day to help at the festival, help to clear and prepare the site, help set up stalls, rooms and performance spaces, meet and greet visitors, staff the information booths, assist artists and workshop leaders in den building, woodland crafts, cookery workshops, jam making, home smoking and a host of other activities.

Mark Halliday, operations manager for the Teesside offshore wind farm said: “The festival has the potential to make a lasting impact on the local area and we are delighted to support it through the community benefit fund. We also fully support the sustainable living messages the Festival of Thrift hopes to spread, as well as its aim to regenerate the Tees Valley area.”

EDF Energy Renewables has supported more than 70 local projects and activities through the Teesside Offshore Community Benefit Fund, which is operated by the company in partnership with the Tees Valley Community Foundation.

Through the scheme, community groups on Teesside are eligible to apply for financial support for projects, activities and events that benefit local people.

To sign up to become a volunteer, please visit http://www.festivalofthrift.co.uk/

By Emily