Cost of Living and Student Groups

The Cost of Living Crisis is currently affecting nearly all areas of student life, and while participating in student groups can be one of the best parts of university, sometimes the costs can be a barrier. VP Societies & Sport has put together a list of top tips for students and committee members!

cost of livingofficer blogsocsport blog

The Cost of Living Crisis is currently affecting nearly all areas of student life, and while participating in student groups can be one of the best parts of university, sometimes the costs can be a major struggle in achieving this.

As a part of the Students’ Union's wider Cost of Living Campaign, I’ve put together some tips and ideas for both student group members and committees on how to make sure your group is as accessible as possible!

Student Group Members

Free & Affordable Society Events

Many societies across campus run events where you can get engaged and participate either for very cheap or sometimes completely free - from student group performances to collaborations with the Give It A Go programme.

The Access Fund

Even when there are costs around entry, the Students' Union can help cover up to £150 for the cost of membership, kit, essential travel, and competition costs. Find more about the Access Fund.

Travel Tips

Got an away fixture? Have an event which you need to travel to? Are you taking the bus? The White Bus service runs student discounts. Driving? Make sure your group is carpooling and filling every seat to bring the individual cost to members. Taking the train? You can get a third off your ticket with a 16-25 or 26-30 railcard, which is essential (and also the most environmentally sustainable!)

Student Discounts

Don’t forget to use your student discount everywhere you go! Ask if they have a discount on every purchase, 10% off from UNiDays really adds up over time. Even on campus, RHSU has a loyalty app for purchases made at the Union Shop, Medicine, SU Venue, Tommy's Kitchen and The Packhorse, you’ll earn 10 points for each £1 you spend in our venues. Once you’ve earned 500 points, you’ll earn a £5 voucher that can be used as full or part payment for a future purchase.

And remember, as President, this year Hannah is running Thritfy Thursdays with new information on how to save money during the Cost of Living Crisis on her Stories every week! Make sure to take a look at her Instagram highlights to catch up on what she’s shared.

Committee Members

As committee members, how can you bring down the cost of your group for members? 

SU Grants & Funding

Every year, the  Student Opportunities team runs funding phases to support groups financially in different areas. So far this year, we’ve been able to allocate a staggering £11,330 in grants for committees to use to improve their group. For more information, check out this Freshdesk article.

Kit/Equipment Sustainability

Reach out to old members to see if they have any old kit/merch that they no longer need or want. Some groups have also set up an established equipment and kit sustainability scheme for members in years to come!


Fundraising can be a great way to lower costs in your group. Consider running events, campaigns, or challenges to raise money for specific projects, with the extra possibility of contributing money to charity as well.


Where fundraising isn’t available, sponsorship may be a better source of income! This can either be direct funding given to a group in return for activity/promotion or partnering with an organisation to cover some of the costs of running your event.

Finally, make sure you’re taking the time to plan and budget your activities financially. The more thought and time that goes in, the better chance you have of finding ways to decrease costs, and the more transparent you can be with your members.

Student groups can be a fantastic way to meet new people and enjoy new opportunities at university. Hopefully, this blog has provided some information/inspiration about how to engage with student groups at Royal Holloway for the best price possible.