All posts by Minnie Crowe

17 Apr 2020

Financial and Mental Wellbeing Support

How are you? No really, how are you doing? For the first time in ages, we actually mean that when we ask someone. We might not be able to see each other in person, but we’re spending more time on the phone and online connecting with each other: physical distancing, social solidarity.

But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a difficult time. Our industry runs on freelancers, from actors to runners, all the way to producers and directors. We’re used to uncertainty in terms of our careers and finances, but this is another level. Overnight, the industry closed down, and many of us are struggling to know where we’re going to get our next paycheck.

This is a tough time for the TCN too, but we’re trying our best to look at how we can support you through this time and be here for you when it’s all over.

We wanted to pull together a few resources around the financial support that’s available, from the government and other sources, as well as some pointers on where to access mental health support. A bit of a caveat: this list isn’t exhaustive, we’re sure there’s other sources of support available, so feel free to comment with any useful links! And particularly with the government support, criteria are changing as they respond to the criticisms that they’re leaving people out, so even if you think you don’t qualify, read the guidance available carefully and keep updated.

We hope this proves useful – in the meantime, stay safe and take care of yourselves. We’ll see you on the other side.

Government Schemes:

Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

This is meant to help those who are self-employed. You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

Read the info carefully for the details – HMRC will aim to contact you by mid May 2020 if you’re eligible for the scheme and invite you to claim using the GOV.UK online service. You could get up to 80% of your monthly income for 3 months, up to £2500 per month. Grants will not be paid until June 2020. You can apply for Universal Credit while you wait.

There has been criticism that this scheme doesn’t cover directors of limited companies or people who have recently gone self employed and didn’t file a 2018/19 tax return. There could be changes to this scheme to address these issues. Keep up to date on the HMRC link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This scheme is for people on PAYE contracts. It should cover freelancers who move from job to job on short term PAYE contracts as well –  there have been recent changes to the scheme to try and capture more of these workers. It’s still not perfect, but if you’d already been let go from a PAYE contact, it is worth contacting your last employer to see if they’d be willing to rehire you and furlough you, so you qualify for the scheme. This is up to them, it’s not a government requirement.

The scheme is administered by employers and they will decide who they offer furloughing to. Your employer will let you know if you’re going to be covered by the scheme. The government are offering up to 80% of your salary, with a cap of £2500 a month. It currently looks like this will be subject to tax and NI, just like the self-employed scheme. Some employers are topping up people’s salary but they are under no obligation to do so.

Check if you might be covered under the scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

PACT’s most recent guidance to production companies: http://www.pact.co.uk/news-detail.html?id=covid-19-job-retention-scheme-q-a

Scotland Additional Support

If you live in Scotland, the government are offering additional support for small businesses and self employed people.

Overview: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-52291998?fbclid=IwAR3UaIXMqO-lB7Xyd_WijM3BbOSU0DFQ8uiXr9h3MDcocUwlH7DJ2OC71G0

Details and how to apply: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-individuals-and-businesses-in-scotland

Universal Credit

Check out the information below to see if you might be eligible for universal credit and what you need to do to apply.

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/employment-and-benefits-support/making-a-new-claim/

Charities and Industry Support

The Film and TV Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund

The Film and TV COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund has been created in partnership with the BFI. We’re able to provide one-off grants from £500 to £2,500 to active workers in film, TV and cinema facing significant financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

There’s not a lot of time left to apply for this! Applications will close: 6pm Wednesday 22nd April 2020

https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/covid-19-help-advice/covid-19-relief-fund/

Arts Council Covid 19 Funds

The Arts Council have announced funds for individuals, non NPO organisations and funding for NPOs. Read their guidance here and apply before 30 April (if you don’t have a Grantium profile you will need to set one up by 27 April to apply).

Grants of up to £2500 are available for individuals and up to £35,000 for non NPO organisations.

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19

Audio and Radio Emergency Fund

Set up by the Radio Academy, AudioUK, the BBC, Audible and Reelworld, the scheme will give grants of up to £1,000 to individuals who need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as those in hardship who are receiving no government assistance; people who need help with radio or audio development projects, or those who need new equipment or software.

The fund will be open for applications from Monday 20 April.

https://www.radioacademy.org/audio-radio-emergency-fund/

Mental Health Support

These circumstances can take a toll on our mental health. The uncertainty and anxiety about what happens next are universal. There are ways we can all support each other, especially if you’re isolating alone. Make sure you take time to talk to your friends and family on the phone, do some exercise if you can. Don’t feel under undue pressure to be creative, bake banana bread or learn a new language during lockdown, for some people that will help, but for other’s it’s just an added pressure.

Here’s a couple of useful links to help you with your mental wellbeing from the Film and TV Charity. They have some oneline resrouces, but also, their 24 support line is still running and you can pick up the phone at any time to speak to someone or use their Live Chat option.

Mental Wellbeing Support: https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/covid-19-help-advice/mental-wellbeing/

Film and TV Charity 24 Hour Support Line: https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/we-can-help/support-line/

Phone Line: 0800 054 0000.

 

18 Mar 2020

TriForce Creative Network Covid-19 Update

Hi all,

There’s so much happening right now, and we know that many of those communities we represent are going to be hit the hardest by all of this. First and foremost, we’re sending warmth to all of you.

Like everybody, we’ve having to alter our plans for this year’s upcoming programme of work.

We are a small organisation with no core funding but we’ll try our best to maintain through this period and beyond, as we understand that many who can work still very much need to and once the dust settles, voices will need to be heard more than ever.

Things may change rapidly but whilst we can, we will.

MonologueSlam UK

All MonologueSlam events are currently on hold. If you have booked an audition for our Newcastle MonologueSlam, we and Northern Stage have taken the decision to postpone the auditions on 3rd and 4th April. As soon as we have a new date for the auditions, we will contact everyone who booked and invite them to rebook.

Currently the show is still planned for 5th June, but this a fast-moving situation and this may change.

WriterSlam UK

We and Audible have taken the decision to postpone the WriterSlam Finalists Workshop and the WriterSlam Final event which were planned for early May. We are hoping to move these events to early Autumn, depending on how the situation unfolds.

Rather than close submissions, (we think we could all do with a little something to occupy our spirits during this time…) we’ve decided to extend the submissions window for this opportunity. We were due to close submissions on 20 March, but the submissions will now remain open until a few weeks before the final. There is no need to resubmit if you have already submitted.

TriForce Short Film Festival

This year the TriForce Short Film Festival is planned for 28th November. We are working toward this event date and plan to open submissions as usual in April.

For more information please go to https://www.tfsff.com

Dandi Services

We are still getting people work and working to support the production companies and broadcasters that we work with during this difficult time. While production may have slowed down, do get in touch if you are working on development projects and I’m sure we can help with finding diverse, creative talent for you to work with – there’s lots of people who are happy to work from home!

If you’re crew or creative talent looking for work, create a free profile on the TCN Talent Pool. While there may be fewer jobs at present, as soon as production ramps up again we will be looking for lots of roles. https://thetcn.com/candidates/

This a fast-moving situation and plans may well change. We will keep you posted through our mailing list and social media as and when we know things. To make sure you remain informed, please sign up to our mailing list below:

Mailing List: https://us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ec1692306ae5525449ed0309b&id=323793f2d4

Twitter: @TriForceEvents, @TriForceFest and @MonologueSlamUK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TriForceCreativeNetwork/

Instagram: thetcn

For now, look after yourselves, one another, and mentally and physically, stay safe.

Big Love

Minnie, Fraser and the TriForce Team.

 

03 Dec 2019

Writer Freya Hannan Mills featured in Wirral Globe

Freya Hannan Mills, the young writer of TriForce Short Film Festival finalist film, Swallow, was featured in the Wirral Globe paper, announcing her film’s selection.

You can read the full story here: https://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/18054519.film-written-wallasey-actress-picked-idris-elba-shown-london-festival/