Responding to the cost of living crisis, we are delivering courses that will help residents to reduce their household bills and gain qualifications to boost their career opportunities and earning potential.

Courses & Services We Offer

Haircuts & Beauty Treatments

Free or £5

Residents of Colchester can also benefit from low cost (£5) haircuts and free beauty treatments at the ACL Colchester centre, whilst being a model for learners on health and beauty courses.

Essential Skills Courses

Could be Free

Residents who struggle with financial wellbeing and find maths or other essential skills tricky are being offered free foundation level courses to boost skills in English, Maths & Digital skills.

Wellbeing Courses


We offer a wide range of FREE courses to help people to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

GCSE qualifications

Could be free

Gain GCSE qualifications to improve job prospects, gain support to help their family deal with the cost of living crisis, and receive help managing anxiety and stress.

Microsoft Office Courses


Microsoft Office is a range of great programmes to learn for many reasons, it can help you both in your career and also while studying and creating documents for personal use.



For employed residents who would like to progress to management or team lead roles or other roles. Or for those who are looking to start in the workplace or change careers.

Flexible Learning Qualifications

Could be free

Whatever your ambitions start fulfilling them! Take the next steps in your career with a course you can complete at a time that suits you.

Running a Business

From £13

For residents seeking an entrepreneurial path, ACL is also offering the chance to take low cost (from £13) ‘Running a Business’ courses to help them start-up on their own.

Low-cost Family Activities


Are you worried about the expense of family activities? Come and join us for this FREE session with ideas of things to do with the children that are low/no cost.

Confident Cooking on a budget


Food has become very expensive now and it is not always easy to make healthy meals on a budget. Come and find out how to cook with confidence.

Where to go for help?


Asking for help is about being courageous and proactive. Come and find out what is available locally, countywide and nationally to support you and your family through the cost of living crisis.

Top tips to make your money go further


This session is about practical tips to budget, reduce your bills, manage your spending and help you with planning too. This is a practical workshop giving you resources, apps and tips.

How to explain it to your children


Our children are hearing a lot about the cost of living from school, nursery, media and family and friends. Help them to understand it, reduce the fear and anxiety that our children will be feeling.

How to support you and your family during a crisis


The cost of living is the latest crisis that we have faced in the last couple of years. It is a worrying time for lots of reasons and can leave you and your family feeling low, confused, and anxious. Let us help support you at this difficult time.

Build your confidence with getting help


Getting help is fine if you have the confidence to access the help that is on offer. Are you worried about reaching out and asking for help? This workshop is the first step. We are here to give you the tools to get the help you need.

“Vintage Christmas” – sustainable and cost saving


Xmas is looming, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Get sustainable and vintage with ideas that you can create yourself, recycle, reuse or repurpose.

Supporting SEND children


The cost-of-living crisis can have an even greater impact for SEND children and their families, as change and financial impact can be greater if your child has additional needs. Come and find out what support and tips there are to support you and your child.

Cost of living Mighty Meals


Food has become so expensive. Learn how to make mighty meals that won’t bust the budget

How to save money on your energy bills


One of the biggest worries of the cost-of-living crisis is energy/utility bill increases. Come and find out what you can do to save money on these in the short term and long term.

Helping kids manage money


This course is designed to give you confidence to support your child with their Maths and money. Do they understand where money comes from? Do they know about saving and spending? This workshop explores those ideas and gives you the strategies to talk to your child about money.

Financial wellbeing in difficult times


The start of money management is knowing where your money is going. Learn quick and simple ways to track your money, digital tools and paper based exercises so that you can see where savings can be made.

Other Money Saving Tips

Turn Your Heating Down

Did you know that by turning your heating down one degree could help you save up to £80 a year? Try adding layers and blankets before turning up your heating.

Learn to Cook

Takeaways and ready meals usually cost more than making a meal yourself from scratch. We have courses to help you to learn to cook meals at a lower cost.

Swap Baths for Showers

You can save money by swapping baths to showers or by reducing the time you spend in the shower even by a minute.

Cooler Washes

You can save money by turning the temperature down on your washing machine and/or making sure your washing machine is full before switching it on rather than doing lots of smaller washes.

Free School Meals

Check if your child can get free school meals. You can find out more about about this here.

Use the Microwave

Did you know using the microwave can be a lot cheaper than the oven? Just make sure you turn it off standby when you are done.

Don't Overfill the Kettle

Only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need will save you money, if you are only making one drink try only adding enough water for that.

Turn Off Standby

Turn appliances of standby to save around £55 per year.

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