Technical Entertainment Charity Backup has announced the creation of a separate initial Hardship Fund, which will provide limited financial assistance to crew/production personnel, and people working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector, including live events, theatre and TV and film.

Backup announces Hardship Fund for entertainment personnel‘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,’ says 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 supporters including #WeMakeEvents, Backup has raised £100,000 to date, with Light Relief agreeing to match this with a further £100,000, to be directed to help support the lighting community. This means that there will initially be a total fund of £200,000 allocated to the Hardship Fund, with further fundraising ongoing.

During the first application period (8am on 19 October to 8pm on 30 October 2020), Backup is targeting resources on those who have received not received government grants – from the furlough scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) –or from other charitable funds (Theatre Artists Fund, Arts Council etc). All successful applicants will receive funds two weeks after the closing date.

‘While 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,’ John adds. ‘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.

More: www.backuptech.uk/apply/hardship-form

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