Backup announces Hardship Fund for production personnel

Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity has created a COVID-19 Hardship Fund to support crew and production staff from the live events, theatre, and TV and films sectors who have seen their livelihoods severely impacted by the pandemic.

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 the Hardship Fund, with further fundraising in progress.

“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.”

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During the first application period, from October 19 2020 (08:00) to October 30 2020 (20:00), Backup is targeting resources to people who have received no grants from the government or from other charitable funds. 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.” 

For details on the Hardship Fund, eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit

Last week it was announced that Stagehand, a charity designed to support those who work in the live events industry, has been granted £100,000 by music licensing company PPL to boost its new COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund.

The fund was launched by Stagehand Trustees in September 2020 to support crew, technicians and live events industry workers whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Open from mid-October, the fund will help those struggling to meet the cost of basic living.