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Talis Insight Europe 2019: The Reading List Foundation

Natalie Naik
Talis Insight Europe 2019 Talis update

The Reading List Foundation is a charity that aims to lessen the financial burden of attending university for students in the UK. They donate £250 to nominated students via schools and colleges, in the form of an e-voucher, that they can spend on books and materials for their course. The team at Talis thought this was an interesting initiative, and we invited their Co-Founder to share what they do with our audience.

Alan Terry, Co-Founder of the Reading List Foundation joined us for two days and provided us with a fascinating insight into why they were formed, the work they do and the impact this has on prospective students about to start their student journey.

You can see the slides below:

We created a ‘text to donate’ system at the event so that our audience could help raise money for the cause, this amount was then matched by Talis and by the Reading List Foundation.

Alan, reflecting on his two days at Talis Insight said:

“Wow! That was an experience…. When we were asked to present the Reading List Foundation’s story at the recent Talis Insight conference in Birmingham, I had no idea how receptive you would all be to our story, or how successful the ‘text to donate’ would be. We were absolutely delighted on both counts. The talk – how we aim to help support exceptional students from lower-income households succeed at University, through awarding Scholarships to pay for their textbooks – really seemed to resonate, and I had countless people drop by our stand, with questions, support, and suggestions for schools or colleges to engage with.

As a result, we received a tremendous £540 in donations (£195 by text, and £345 in separate online donations), which, when match-funded by Talis and ourselves, means we’ll look to support 7 students with Scholarships this summer.  On stage I randomly picked out Oxford Spires Academy, Kings School (Peterborough), and Long Road Sixth Form (Cambridge) from the pot of suggested schools, but the subsequent donations means we have also selected Minsthorpe Community College (West Yorks), King Edward VI College (Nuneaton) and Bellerive College (Liverpool), with one other school still to be confirmed.

We’ve had a really successful year, on so many fronts, and I’m already looking forward to coming back next year to give you some insight into who your donations have helped. Thank you.”
A huge thank you to Alan from the team at Talis for sharing the story of the Reading List Foundation with us and our community, we are delighted to be able to support 7 students as a result of the donations made. We hope to be able to update on their journey to university at next year’s Talis Insight!

To find out more about the Reading List Foundation, visit their website

If you’d like to find out more about other sessions at Talis Insight Europe 2019, click here.


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