Year 12 Autumn Term isn't too early to start: the early bird can catch the juicy uni. offer!
There were 3 adverts in the bus I was just on for a scheme run by the Uni. of Exeter called Exeter Progression: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/exeter-progression/about/ .
This is a programme to widen participation among less represented groups of students. It offers insight into uni. study, guidance on application, financial incentives and the possibility of an offer 2 grades below the usual one.
But you need to apply by 27 October 2018.
There are probably other similar programmes offered by unis. across the country.
Autumn Term is definitely the time to start researching opportunities!