Our history

A 100 years of supporting people behind the scenes 

The Film and TV Charity was founded in 1924 by E.W. Pashley Peall, Reginald C. Bromhead and J. Brooke-Wilkinson. 

Initially the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund (and later the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund), the organisation was founded to help people working in the screen industries to overcome a spectrum of personal and professional challenges. 

The benevolent fund model was in place until 2018 when the newly renamed Film and TV Charity launched the Film and TV Support Line, a free, 24-hour resource that offered those working in the industry access to counselling, legal, and financial advice. 

Acting on insight gained through this confidential service, the Charity launched the Looking Glass Survey in 2019. That research uncovered a mental health crisis in the industry, borne out of poor working conditions, workplace culture, and the capability of those in positions of power to deal with the issues people were experiencing. In response, we launched the Whole Picture Programme, backed by an industry-led Mental Health Task Force committed to building an industry that respects, values, and supports behind the scenes workers. 

Production Manager is holding a walkie talkie. She is looking at the crew. In the background, there is a jib-mounted camera operator.

100 years of support

A lot has changed over the last 100 years, but we’re still here to support workers in the film, TV and cinema industry with free, confidential, and impartial support.

In 2021, we launched the Bullying Advice Service, a key output of the Whole Picture Programme, providing industry-specific support for anyone experiencing or witnessing bullying or harassment. We also launched an industry-wide behaviour change campaign, Let’s Reset, supported by our Mental Health Task Force and aimed at showing industry workers that a commitment for more positive working culture was being driven from the top down. 

In 2022, the Sir Horace Ové Grant created a dedicated grant for Black and Global Majority people working in the industry who were seeking to access opportunity or navigate barriers to their success. 

Our work today is more relevant than ever. With the backing of people like you, we support thousands of people in an enormous variety of roles. We collaborate with partners across the industry to drive positive impact, and we adapt to the ever-changing needs of a workforce that does so much to make the UK film, TV, and cinema industry one that is admired around the world. 

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