11412038_1417261515269500_6430831431374387392_oWhy is READ College a charity?

The reason is simple, really. We believe that a career in the Performing Arts shouldn’t be the preserve of those who can afford to train; it should be open to anyone who has the passion, determination and dedication to work in this industry. Our commitment to this belief is part of what makes us the UK’s leading Performing Arts Foundation College.

READ College was founded by Helen and Jamie Read back in 2009 and became a registered charity in 2011, with the ethos of supporting talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, to enable them to get a foot on the training ladder. Financial and/or family disadvantage doesn’t just mean that students can’t afford to pay drama school fees in the short term – it also means that they haven’t had the chance to attend regular classes and theatre trips throughout their childhood, which puts them at a disadvantage when they come to audition for degree-level Dance and Drama Schools.

Through financial assistance and intensive, high quality training, our students are able to audition from a level playing field, and the extraordinary success rates of our graduates in gaining places at top flight schools (over 98% since we were founded and a full 100% in 2017) show how effective these courses are.

Want to support our work? Click here to find out more about our sponsorship programme or read on to see the testimonial of some of our beneficiaries…

Through our Student Hardship Fund, we have been able to provide means tested bursaries totalling over £250,000 to young people who most need assistance, and all of the funds are generated through our charitable activities: we receive no government funding or core grants at all.

Here is what some of our past students have said about the support from READ College in their own words:

“This bursary has helped me so much. I have been given an opportunity to perform and learn… I am so grateful, because I have the chance to fulfil my dream.”

“I am from a single parent income household therefore it was crucial that I had a bursary to be able to fund the course…”

“Without the tuition of Read I can honestly say I would not stand a chance of furthering my career path… without the generous bursary I am in receipt of – none of this would have ever been possible.”

Local READ students


There are lots of ways that you can support the charitable work of READ College. You can make a one-off donation or pledge towards a students’ training, by contacting us directly. Or you could join or Friends of READ College scheme, or even encourage your company to become a corporate sponsor – there are lots of great perks!