Olcan is working in partnership with Equity which is “a union of more than 47,000 performers and creative practitioners, united in the fight for fair terms and conditions in the workplace.” We have published a collection of poems by Denise Redford and 100% of the proceeds go towards financial support for those in need. The poems are approachable, friendly and uplifting for those who want words of comfort in any tough times they may face.

Equity has a fantastic project called the Benevolent Fund which provides grants to members of Equity for essential expenses. In these difficult times, it is important that we support the UK arts industry and provide support for those who need it most. The fund gives grants of £50 – £350 for essential bills including electricity, gas or living expenses when their members encounter difficult times.

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How to apply

If you are a performer, stage manager or creative that is a member of Equity then make sure you head over to the “how to apply” section of their website: https://www.equity.org.uk/about/benevolent-fund/how-to-get-help/

There are certain criteria in place in order to make sure that the payments made by the fund go to the right people.

Who can apply?
You have to be a full Equity member but that includes graduates, long service individual & life and child members.

What can you claim for?
It has to be for urgent one-off expenses or something in that category. The typical grants are given out for bills – water, electricity, food and heating. The typical claims range from £60 – £350

How do I claim?
Complete the application form at https://www.equity.org.uk/about/benevolent-fund/how-to-get-help/apply-to-the-benevolent-fund/

How to donate

If you are lucky enough to be in a strong financial position then we would ask that you consider donating. The reason this is a great vehicle to support those in need is that the money is given as grants straight to those people who need it most. The money is used for really essential payments that vulnerable professionals need to pay in order to keep their livelihoods. As you can see, there is criteria to make sure that the funds are used appropriately and Equity has a great reputation for helping those members most in need.

  • If you want to donate online then a great way to do it is to head over to the Benevolent Fund PayPal page.
  • To pay via debit or credit card over the phone then call 020 7670 0266 to make a donation.
  • If you want to pay via BACS transfer then the best way to go about it is to
  • email benfund-donate@equity.org.uk and they’ll get back to you with the relevant details.
  • If you want to pay via cheque then head over here to find the right address and details.

What other help is out there?

Theatre Support

Theatre Support is run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre not-for-profit organizations representing the theatre industry. They have a series of resources in place so that the musicians, the creatives, the technical teams and actors who are out of work can contact organisations that can help.

For the full breakdown you can visit their website here: https://theatresupport.info/. Many of the large theatres, heads of industry and investors have put in time and effort to make sure the money is there for those who need it – spread the message!

Arts Minds – https://www.artsminds.co.uk/

Theatre Helpline – https://theatrehelpline.org/

Actors Church – https://actorschurch.org/

Theatre Chaplaincy – https://www.theatrechaplaincyuk.com/

Equity Health Resources – https://www.equity.org.uk/at-work/bullying-harassment/mental-health-resources/

Equity – https://www.mind.org.uk/

Playing Sane – https://www.playingsane.org/

The Royal Theatrical Fund – http://www.trtf.com/helpandadvice-1

Make A Difference Trust – https://www.madtrust.org.uk/

Actor’s Benevolent Fund – https://www.actorsbenevolentfund.co.uk/

Actors Children’s Trust – https://actorschildren.org/

Help Musicians – https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/

Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund – https://www.roh.org.uk/about/benevolent-fund

Equity Charitable Trust – http://www.equitycharitabletrust.org.uk/

Acting For Others – http://actingforothers.co.uk/

Grand Order of the Water Rats – http://www.gowr.net/

Until The Curtains Rise – https://www.untilthecurtainsrise.com/

Dance Professionals Fund – https://www.dancefund.org.uk/

FFF (Funds for Freelancers) – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fundsforfreelancers

Masterclass – https://masterclass.org.uk/news-view/resourcesuseful-links-for-people-who-have-lost-work

The Theatrical Guild – https://masterclass.org.uk/news-view/resourcesuseful-links-for-people-who-have-lost-work

Drury Lane Theatrical Fund – https://www.drurylanefund.com/

Stage One – https://www.stageone.uk.com/about-us

PRS Members Fund – https://www.prsmembersfund.com/2020/03/18/covid-19-information/

Fleabag Support Fund – https://sohotheatre.com/fleabagsupportfund

Backup – https://www.backuptech.uk/

The silver lining

Due to the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, everyone is finding it difficult to adjust. The ban on public gatherings has severely impacted the UK theatre industry. Apart from the fact that the theatres are shut, there is a fear for whether audience attendee numbers will return after normality returns.

The silver lining is that there are pockets where society is pulling together to support each other. The UK creative, performing arts and production industries have quickly created these avenues for those who are most vulnerable to get the help they need.

Help spread the message by retweeting the many posts about the book or you can donate directly to Equity. Stay strong and together we will be able to get through this – stay safe.

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