Celebrities Support Behind The Scenes Workers As They Face Toughest Winter Ever’

The Film and TV Charity respond to the financial hardship many people working behind the scenes are facing. 
30 November 2023 

The Film and TV Charity has launched a short film in response to the financial hardship many people working behind the scenes are facing, at the end of a challenging year for the UK creative sector. 

Sir Lenny Henry CBE, actor Maxine Peake, comedian Rosie Jones, and writer/​producer Steven Moffat have worked with the Charity’s CEO Marcus Ryder and members of its wider team for the film. In it, they make a call for donations as an unprecedented set of circumstances are leaving many people in need of support, while the Charity braces itself for what could be the toughest winter in its 100-year history.

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Urgent financial need

The film launches across social media from today as part of the Charity’s winter fundraising campaign. It comes at the end of a year where applications for the organisation’s Stop-Gap Grants for urgent financial need have skyrocketed by 800% over the summer months. Even with additional funds allocated by the Charity, and a further £250,000 raised from corporate partners, the Charity has had to apply new eligibility criteria to its grants applications to ensure those with the most pressing need receive its support, making this winter’s campaign all the more urgent.

The strikes in the US are just one of the things that have made life incredibly tough for UK film, TV, and cinema workers this year, with the Film and TV Charity stepping in to support people affected by a wider downturn in production, the cost-of-living crisis and a host of other factors. 
Sir Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry added: I completely understand that many are finding life difficult, but there are also plenty of people across the industry and in wider society who can afford help, so I hope that by making this film, we can appeal to them to put their hands in their pockets.”

Marcus Ryder, CEO at the Film and TV Charity added: The financial pressures being felt by many industry workers – and the strain this has on their mental health – is immense. We have to brace ourselves for what is looking like the toughest winter many people in the industry have ever faced. I’m so grateful to Lenny, Maxine, Rosie, and Steven for the time they’ve given to help us draw attention to this, and hope that their involvement in our appeal film will provoke those who are able, both within and outside the industry, to donate so we can maximise the support we can give to our brilliant, creative workforce this winter and beyond.”

As well as supporting the fundraising campaign, Hartswood Films, has gone one step further by also dedicating a donation specific to the eight-week production of Steven Moffat’s forthcoming comedy drama for ITVX, Douglas Is Cancelled, to the Charity.

Hartswood Films CEO, Sue Vertue and Steven Moffat said: We’re proud to pilot what we think is a practical, easy way for companies currently in production to show their support for the vital work of the Film and TV Charity. We’d like to encourage other companies currently in production to consider allocating their own donation line to their budgets as it’s clear that far too many across the industry are set to struggle this winter.”

As well as supporting the fundraising campaign, Hartswood Films, within which Steven Moffat is a director, has gone one step further by also dedicating a donation specific to the eight-week production of Steven Moffat’s forthcoming comedy drama for ITVX, Douglas Is Cancelled, to the Charity.

For more information, please contact Bethan Davies Wykes, Communications Manager.

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