Mental health and wellbeing for behind-the-scenes workers is at an all-time low as The Film and TV Charity appeals for urgent donations, reporting that the industry is facing ‘one of the most sustained periods of financial uncertainty in its 100-year history.’

The organisation supports people working in production by providing support and services to improve working conditions and has reported that it is experiencing an 800% increase in applications for Stop-Gap Grants since summer 2023.


Production was delayed due to the pandemic and the US writer’s strike

The report follows a period of delays in content related to the pandemic and the US writer’s strike in production, meaning staff are experiencing a lack of work, from production level to distribution and beyond. The charity’s Stop-Gap Grant was introduced help people manage urgent financial worries, delivering mental health support to alleviate anxiety and distress in the industry. But the charity claims it is struggling to keep up with the demand for their support and is now calling on donations to meet the urgent financial need as many workers face a challenging winter ahead.

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As a response, the charity launched a follow-up to the financial resilience survey it issued earlier this year. The research gathered will build a longer-term picture of the financial circumstances of people working behind the scenes, as it calls for as many people as possible from across the industry to take part.

The first financial survey ran in May 2023, before the current production slowdown and strikes in the US had taken full effect, and uncovered shocking levels of financial exposure:

  • 46% of respondents had less than £1,000 in savings
  • 50% weren’t contributing to a pension
  • Workers from under-represented groups were more likely to be impacted by financial concerns

The organisation presented the results of the first survey at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August, resulting in donations in excess of £250,000 from major partners to help fund urgently needed support.

CEO, Marcus Ryder, said: “We’ve made no secret of the fact that people in our industry are facing an emergency. As we go into the winter, our real concern is that things are only likely to get worse for many with the US strikes continuing to impact UK productions and compounding other issues affecting the landscape.”

He added: “This year, we’ve shown what we can do with hard evidence to back us up and are grateful for the support our partners have given us. We’re about to launch an urgent winter appeal and the data this survey will give us is going to be crucial as we set out our case for support to everyone who is able to help.”

The Film and TV Charity has also reported that 96% of the people they’ve been able to support with financial assistance in the past have reported a positive impact to their wellbeing.

The charity strives to be at the forefront of a movement for change, with everything they do being based on evidence and insight to bring the whole industry together to take action that has real impact.

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