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The Essentials

The performing arts industry can be tough and sometimes you may need some support during your career or beyond. We’ve gathered a list of fantastic charities who can offer help should you ever need it.

Whether you need help to make ends meet, support your child in education or face challenges through illness, injury, age, or unexpected circumstances, there’s advice and support for those who need it.

You’re not alone and organisations exist to assist performers in their time of need, often set up by people who have had similar experiences and understand what you’re going through. No matter what career stage or role you had in the performing arts, there’s a charity or foundation who can help you.

  • Acting for Others – Provides financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need through their 14 member charities. http://actingforothers.co.uk
  • The Actors’ Benevolent Fund (ABF) – Gives financial support for professional actors and stage managers who are experiencing hardship and are unable to work due to illness, injury or old age. https://www.actorsbenevolentfund.co.uk
  • British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) – Provides medical advice to people working and studying in the performing arts, helping you overcome work-related health problems. https://www.bapam.org.uk/
  • The Actors’ Children’s Trust (ACT) – Awards childcare grants and education support to help working actors cover the costs of their child’s care and education. https://actorschildren.org
  • Dancers’ Career Development (DCD) – Helps support dancers who want to evolve into a career beyond performing. Dancers can get a bespoke programme of support to help progress to the next phase of working life. https://thedcd.org.uk
  • Dance Professionals Fund – Provides financial grants to dance professionals of all ages facing illness or injury and can support everyday living costs or with crisis funding. They also offer confidential advice and financial support through a range of specialist bursary schemes. https://www.dancefund.org.uk
  • Denville Hall – A residential home for members of the theatrical profession. They provide support for residential care, enhanced residential care, nursing care, dementia care, palliative care and short stay, with nurses and carers on duty 24 hours a day. https://www.denvillehall.org.uk
  • The Drury Lane Theatrical Fund – Financial help for subscribers and, where possible, performers and stage management who have worked at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane who have been forced to retire, through age or ill health. https://www.drurylanefund.com
  • The Equity Charitable Trust – Offers financial help when you need it most with welfare grants to help when faced with an unforeseen medical, financial or professional event. They offer debt or benefits advice and help with overcoming an accident or paying a bill to get you back on your feet. http://www.equitycharitabletrust.org.uk/financial-help
  • The Evelyn Norris Trust – Provides holiday grants of up to £1000 to members of the concert, performing and theatrical professions who are convalescing, undergoing treatment, are in poor health or need a longed-for break. http://www.equitycharitabletrust.org.uk/other-grants/evelyn-norris-trust
  • The Grand Order of Water Rats – A fund that helps performers and their dependents who, because of old age or disability are unable to work. The Trustees of the Grand Order of Water Rats meet every month to discuss and assimilate the various requests for help. http://www.gowr.co.uk/charities-fund/charities-fund
  • The King George V Fund for Actors and Actresses – Awards grants to British actors and actresses aged 60+ who have been acting for at least 15 years and are in need of financial help. https://www.kinggeorgevfund.com/about-us
  • The Ralph and Meriel Richardson Foundation – Helps to relieve the need, hardship or distress of British actors (and their spouses and children) who find themselves in less fortunate circumstances. Applicants will need to have professionally practised or contributed to the Theatrical Arts – on stage, film, television or radio – for a minimum of 15 years. http://www.sirralphrichardson.org.uk
  • Royal National Theatre Foundation Contact their Welfare Counsellor
  • The Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund – Provides confidential advice, emotional support and financial assistance to past and present employees (and their dependents) of the Royal Opera House and Birmingham Royal Ballet who need help. https://www.roh.org.uk/about/benevolent-fund
  • The Royal Theatrical Fund – Support for people who have worked, or work, in the theatrical profession and are in need as a result of illness, accident or old age. They provide grants, assist with shortfalls in nursing and residential homes fees, give advice about benefits and debt as well, or offer a friendly ear if you need to talk. http://www.trtf.com
  • The Royal Variety Charity  Provides financial assistance in the form of grants to those who have worked professionally in the entertainment industry. They also own and manage Brinsworth House, a residential and nursing care home for elderly entertainers. http://www.royalvarietycharity.org
  • SafetyCurtain – Helps provide grants to struggling performers and creative practitioners outside of the UK living in dangerous countries to help with essential living costs or medical bills. https://www.safetycurtain.org.uk/need-help
  • Scottish Showbusiness Benevolent Fund https://ssbf.co.uk
  • Theatre Chaplaincy UK (TCUK) – Pastoral and practical support for people of all faiths and none who work onstage, offstage, backstage and Front of House. http://theatrechaplaincyuk.com
  • The Theatrical Guild – Practical help at any stage of your career – from welfare and debt advice to financial support and counselling – for backstage and front of house workers. https://ttg.org.uk
  • TheatreMAD (Make A Difference Trust) – Supports individuals experiencing hardship across the UK. providing grants to help those living with, or at risk from, HIV and AIDS. https://www.madtrust.org.uk/what-we-do

If you know of any other great charities that we should add to our list, let us know on Twitter @spotlightuk. We’re always here to help so if you have any questions just ask us by calling 020 7437 7631 or emailing questions@spotlight.com.