• The Film and TV Charity overwhelmed with Covid-19 relief requests  
  • Charity has distributed £140,000 to nearly 400 freelancers out of work since March  
  • “We’re urging people to help us to re-open these funds and extend our services,” says CEO Alex Pumfrey 

Alex Pumfrey Film & Television Charity CEO

Alex Pumfrey: Film & Television Charity chief executive appeals for further donations

Some 3,000 people have applied for over £5 million of Covid-19 support from the Film and TV Charity’s emergency relief fund, prompting the organisation to urgently appeal for further donations. 

The UK’s Covid-19 Film and TV emergency relief fund opened earlier this month for applicants to receive a one-off grant between £500 and £2,500 after a survey found 93% of freelancers were out of work

The charity will now begin processing applications but warns that, without further donations, it will need to prioritise those most in need.  

Since the start of the crisis, the charity has also distributed £140,000 via its long-standing Hardship Fund to nearly 400 people with stop-gap grants of up to £500 to cover essential living costs such as food and bills.  

The Film and TV Charity chief executive Alex Pumfrey said: “Coronavirus is having a devastating impact on our industry. People are out of work and desperately worried about their future. The charity has been able to take urgent steps but the number of applications and calls for help demonstrate the extraordinary need for financial support for freelancers.  

“We’re all part of a brilliant, successful and creative community that is now facing some of its toughest ever challenges. We’re hugely thankful to those who have already donated.”  

“We need to do more. We’re urging people to help us to re-open these funds and extend our services to reach more of the most vulnerable in our industry.” 

The charity has seen an increase in demand for its mental health services. Almost 1,800 people have contacted the free, 24-hour Film and TV Support Line in the past six weeks, five times higher than average. 

Resource from across the charity has been channelled into supporting the film and TV community during the crisis, seconding staff and redirecting existing funds into the Covid-19 response.