Support for freelancers
This list is 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 advice sites
Money Saving Expert >
The sainted Martin Lewis’s site. The link takes you to the self-employed benefit section.
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.
Another great site with a natty benefits calculator.
Money Magpie >
Finance journalist Jasmine Birtles’s site, with a special section for corona-related issues.
Industry bodies and charities
Below are some organisations that are there to help you. Remember that you can also find support informally through groups of like-minded people.
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.
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.
Audio & Radio Freelancers Emergency Fund >
Launched on 20 April, and aimed at supporting freelancers in radio and podcasting. Managed by the Radio Academy and supported by AudioUK and BBC.
The Journalists’ Charity >
May be able to provide financial support for journalists in certain circumstances.
MU – Coronavirus Hardship Fund >
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.
A free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry, freelancers included.
The Royal Theatrical Fund >
Support for people who have worked in the entertainment industry.
This includes financial support, but also phone calls and advice on benefits and debt.
Includes grants from the Fleabag Support Fund for people working in theatre, cabaret, etc. (Deadline for applications 14 July for this one)
The Theatrical Guild >
Charity for back stage and front of house workers in theatre.
The TV Mindset
Supports the mental health of TV & Film freelancers and bring meaningful change to working practices in the industry.
The Arts Council >
Making emergency funding available for arts organisations and individuals who will need it during the crisis.
Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers >
Distributed through Creative Scotland for freelancers resident in Scotland.
Grants may be available through local authorities.
Scotland – coronavirus business support funds (overview) >
Screen Scotland >
Have set up a number of funds to help keep the industry going.
Cultural Recovery Fund Grant >
An emergency fund for freelancers resident in Wales
- BECTU/Prospect >
- Equity >
Includes a particularly good explanation of how and when freelancers should apply for benefits and government support
- Equity Benevolent Fund >
- NUJ >
- WGGB >
A lot of general and specific advice for writers