Support for freelancers

This page is regularly being updated. Please drop us a note if you know of any other sources of support for people in the creative industries.

There are many bodies who want to help you at this difficult time. You are not alone.

The areas they focus on are:

  • mental wellbeing
  • financial wellbeing

Here are some useful links for freelancers and others in the creative industries:

General financial advice sites

Money Saving Expert >
The sainted Martin Lewis’s site. The link takes you to the self-employed benefit section.

Be Clever With Your Cash >
A good site for general money saving tips and things that hadn’t occurred to you, like getting reductions on Council Tax.

Money Magpie >
Finance journalist Jasmine Birtles’s site.

Benefits calculators

People are often unaware that there is state support available. These two sites have calculators that can help you to work out if it’s worth applying for certain benefits including Universal Credit…

turn2us.org.uk >
A brilliant site that gives clear advice and can assess your personal circumstances to advise on which benefits you may be able to claim.
Turn2Us is great as a first step if you feel you need to think about government support.

entitledto >
Another great site with a natty benefits calculator.

Peer support

In recent year many freelancers have got together to set up Facebook groups to support each other.

A good example is TV Talent North, which was set up in 2020 to help share information and support. It has representatives from all the major broadcasters and production companies making unscripted TV. It has more than 5,000 members.

TV Talent North (FaceBook group >

…and TV Switch Up – a group by Telly Mums

TV Switch Up >

The TV Mindset
Supports the mental health of TV & Film freelancers and bring meaningful change to working practices in the industry.

Industry bodies and charities

Below are some organisations that are there to help you.

Film and TV Charity Support line > 
Call 0800 054 00 00 any time of the day or night. It offers emotional support and advice.
It may also be able to provide support grants if you’re experiencing significant financial difficulties.

The Journalists’ Charity >
May be able to provide financial support for journalists in certain circumstances.

MU – Grants and Funds for Musicians >
Small grants for UK musicians who are in financial difficulties

The Theatre Artists Fund >
Aimed at freelancers and others who have not been supported by other schemes. Set up by The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, with initial funding from Netflix.

The Royal Theatrical Fund > 
Support for people who have worked in the entertainment industry but who are unable to because of illness or injury.
This includes financial support, but also phone calls and advice on benefits and debt.

The Theatrical Guild >
Charity for back stage and front of house workers in theatre.

Creative UK >
A body that champions all parts of the creative industries. Was lobbying for ‘statutory self-employment pay‘ during the coronavirus pandemic.

Authors’ Emergency Fund >
For writers, via the Society of Authors.
See also The Royal Literary Fund >

www.dancefund.org.uk/grants/crisis >
Grants of up to £2000 for dancers working in subsidised sector (supported by Arts Council of England)

Scotland

Support info from Screen Scotland >

Unions

  • BECTU/Prospect >
  • Equity >
    Includes a particularly good explanation of how and when freelancers should apply for benefits and government support
  • NUJ >
  • WGGB >
    A lot of general and specific advice for writers

Gov.UK pages

NB: David Thomas Media Ltd is not responsible for the content of other sites nor any financial advice provided by them.

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