In light of the devastating impact of COVID-19, Backup has announced the creation of a separate initial Hardship Fund, which will provide limited financial assistance to crew and production personnel and people working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector, including those from live events, theatre, TV and film, and the technical supply chain to our industry.
“The technicians and their families in our industry, particularly freelancers, are experiencing incredible hardship at the moment and, with the lack of ongoing financial support from the Government, there are many people who are in desperate need of help,” said Backup Chairman, John Simpson. “As an industry, we are trying to help ourselves, and Backup is now in a position to be able to offer a small measure of assistance. We still need more donations to help many more of our colleagues in distress.”
With the help of its supporters, including We Make Events, Backup has raised £100,000 to date, with Light Relief agreeing to match this funding with a further £100,000, targeted to help support the lighting community. This means that there will initially be a total fund of £200,000 allocated to this Hardship Fund, with further fundraising in progress.
During the first application period, from 19 October 2020 (08:00) to 30 October 2020 (20:00), Backup is targeting resources to people who have received NO government grants (e.g. from the furlough scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)) and NO grants from other charitable funds (e.g. Theatre Artists Fund, Arts Council, etc.). All successful applicants will receive funds two weeks after the closing date.
“Whilst we know this is not a perfect solution, and that there are so many technicians in need of assistance, we are ensuring that we help people who have had no financial support whatsoever first,” Simpson added. “If funds are available after this first application period, we will look to help people who have received limited government support or other charitable support.