Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Student’s week of living on potatoes and beans

STUDENTS are hardly known for the quality of their diet but Matt Redley took it to another level.

STUDENTS are hardly known for the quality of their diet but Matt Redley took it to another level.

The 19-year-old, of Norman Avenue, Henley, spent a week living on nothing but jacket potatoes and baked beans.

He decided to live on £1 a day for seven days to highlight global poverty and help raise the £800 he needs to fund his trip to India this summer to do voluntary work.

Matt, who is studying politics at Bristol University, said: “I was living below the poverty line, which is roughly £1 a day.

“It was really tough but I got through it without cheating, which is a miracle. There were so many moments when I could have sneaked a piece of toast or something but I didn’t.

“I was buying things like little pots of jam for 25p and lots of bread and potatoes. I worked out that I had eight jacket potatoes and seven cans of baked beans over the week, a couple of bananas and oranges — hardly my five a day.”

Matt, who attended St Mary’s School in Henley and then Radley College, used a microwave at his halls of residence to cook his food.

He said that at times he was “absolutely starving” but the worst experience was the caffeine withdrawal at the start of the week.

He said: “I am usually wedded to coffee but my body adjusted about three days in.”

The challenge ended on Tuesday and Matt celebrated by going out for both breakfast and lunch with friends.

He said: “I think I have got a bit slimmer, maybe a couple of pounds, but I am sure the weight will soon go back on.”

Matt, who lives with parents Jane and Michael and brothers Jack, 17, and William, 12, will be flying to Jharkhand province on June 20 and will spend three months away.

He will be part of a group from the VSO international development charity helping to teach English to illiterate farmers and health awareness to women.

Matt has raised £730 so far. To make a donation, visit

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