St Chad’s College Meal Bursary Scheme

The meal bursary scheme at St Chad’s aims to support students who, for a variety of reasons, would find it helpful to be able to eat certain meals in College for free, with the cost of this being covered by the College’s Bursary Funds.

Who can apply?

Many students at St Chad’s engage with a variety of student experience commitments including in College and across the wider University. Engagement in these activities is central to their education and personal development and St Chad’s is keen to facilitate equal access to this enrichment where possible. It can be difficult for students who live out to make the most of enrichment opportunities whilst also balancing a degree, looking after themselves, part-time work, etc. We therefore want to ensure that students can experience a full, varied and involved student life whilst living out.  In particular the College is keen to ensure that the following students have the opportunity to engage fully with the wider student experience. We encourage you to apply if you relate to any of the following points, or would find this scheme helpful for another reason.

  • Students who live out but have a strong desire to contribute significantly to College life for the purposes of their own development and a genuine affection for St Chad’s;
  • Students who live out with familial or caring responsibilities, do not have a base in Durham or travel a significant distance to participate in College or University life;
  • Students for whom meals in College offer a first tangible link to the College community and opportunities for further involvement in the student experience, for example students living out in their first year

Why has the scheme been introduced?

A priority for the scheme is to ensure the wellbeing of all St Chad’s College students by encouraging them to eat well and live healthy lifestyles. To do this, we wish to make a certain number of meals freely available to students who struggle to be as fully involved in the wider student experience as they would like because they are both financially and time-limited. This scheme aims to alleviate both the financial and time burden of self-catering for students who have to balance busy schedules (often including part-time work), and for whom access to a number of meals in College each week would make it possible for them to engage in extra-curricular opportunities.

The scheme is not intended as an alternative to the Student Support Fund which typically supports students facing financial hardship. Neither is it the intention of the scheme to encourage a student to take on more responsibilities than they can personally and practically manage. Indeed, before making an award the panel will consider whether a student is being realistic in their commitments and whether continuing with the level of engagement they intend is appropriate for their wellbeing and enables them to fully commit to their academic studies.

What is available?

The scheme will provide students with up to three meals per week in College. A limited number of meals are available, with the College committing up to £1,500 per year to the scheme. Applications can be made throughout the academic year and awards may be for a fixed number of meals over a particular period or will run to the end of the current University term.

Awards will be reviewed each term and those receiving support will be asked to reapply.

How do I apply?

To apply for support from the St Chad’s College Meal Bursary Scheme, students should write to the Vice Principal, Victoria Brown ( with a statement of no more than 500 words outlining the following –

  • Personal circumstances for which support in the form of a meal bursary package would be helpful;
  • The level of support needed – how many meals per week you wish to request and over what period;
  • How support from the scheme would benefit your wellbeing, your development and the College.

Termly deadlines for applications in 2023/24 are as follows –

  • 1 November in Michaelmas Term
  • 14 January in Epiphany Term
  • 28 April in Easter Term

Students should be aware that applications will be reviewed by a panel which includes the JCR President or their nominated representative from the JCR Executive Committee.