Cost of living - managing your finances while attending college

With the cost of living increasing, many are looking to be more careful with their money.

What financial support is available at college?

There’s a range of financial support and bursaries available at Reading College for eligible students.   

These bursaries allow students with financial barriers to access everything they need to attend college and thrive on their course. They may be used to pay for essential travel, meal credits, books, equipment or childcare.   

They are discretionary and the amount received will depend on individual circumstance and financial need.   

We also have financial bursaries for 19+ students still available.   

Travel support – getting to and from college

If the cost of travel is affecting your ability to get to college, we may be able to help!  

If you live three miles or more from the nearest Activate Learning campus offering your course, you may be eligible.   

You may be able to use your travel bursary for travel passes or travel expenses. Please refer to financial support and bursaries for more information regarding travel bursaries.  

Eating at college

Breakfast Club,  8.15 to 9am only

In support of our students and ensuring they start the day with something in their stomachs, we have put together an offer which is free to select at any of our Recharge main outlets. The strict bit: This is to be used only once per day, Students must select one option, Student lanyards must be worn and the options are not transferable for other items.

Just say “Breakfast club offer” when asking for your selected option.

Breakfast Club – choice of each option

Option 1

  • Standard Cup of Tea or Americano Coffee – Bottle Water
  • 2 Slices Toast (Spread/Jam)

Option 2

  • Standard Cup of Tea or Americano Coffee – Bottle Water
  • Cornflakes/Rice Krispies – with Milk ( Dairy/Soya available)

You may be eligible for free meals (breakfast or lunch) at college.   

Please refer to financial support and bursaries for more information regarding meal credits.   

Food, clothing, homelessness and refugee support services in Reading

Here is a selection of local food, clothing, homeware, homelessness and refugee support services in Reading: 

Launch Pad Reading 

Launch Pad Reading is a homelessness prevention charity. 

They offer drop-in sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am–2pm. 

Launch Pad Reading is located at The Stables, 1A Merchants Place, Reading, RG1 1DT. They can be contacted on 0118 950 7656 or via email at enquiries@launchpadreading.org.uk.   

Refugees Support Group  

Refugees Support Group supports refugees and asylum seekers with free food and drinks and a place to talk.  

Refugees Support Group offer drop-in sessions every Friday from 2–4pm.  

They are located at The Atrium Friars Street, RG1 1EH. They can be contacted on 01189 505 356 or info@ssrg.org.uk. 


Readifood is a local food bank ran by a Christian faith group. A referral is needed to access their services. 

Readifood can be contacted on 0118 9872672. 

The Cowshed 

The Cowshed offers clothing and household items for families in crisis. A referral needed by your college, GP, church or social care services. 

They are located at The Stables Hurst Grove, Sandford Lane, RG10 0SQ. 

The Cowshed can be contacted on 0118 934 5120 or info@thecowshed.org. 

Sourcing sustainable fashion

Looking for sustainable fashion that’s eco-conscious and budget friendly? Check out:   

  • Vinted  
  • eBay 
  • Depop   
  • Facebook Marketplace   
  • Charity shops  

Are you concerned about money?

If you are concerned about the cost of living and could benefit from support, please contact Student Support.    

We’re here to support your studies and make sure you have everything you need to attend and thrive at college.