Advice relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many musicians may be fearful of the implications Covid-19 could have on their own health and their performance and teaching commitments, which in turn might have an impact on a range of issues, including finances and mental health.

To help you gather useful information and find sources of support, you will find information here about:

1) Where to check for the latest advice on Coronavirus

2) How Help Musicians may be able to support you

3) Signposting to other organisations who may be able to offer support

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this information when needed.

 

1) Where to check for the latest advice on Coronavirus

Government updates are available here, while NHS advice is available here.

The website coronamusicians.info is regularly updated with information for musicians in response to the outbreak. The site has information on the latest government advice, where musicians can access financial, legal and health support, grants for creative activity and signposting to essential services.

Please check the site here for regular updates. 

 

2) How Help Musicians may be able to support you

Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

We understand that the impact of Coronavirus on musicians lives and careers is unprecedented, and our normal person-centred approach of Health & Welfare support needs to be boosted in this exceptional period to give as many musicians as possible immediate financial relief.

Given the magnitude of the situation, only the government can fully provide what musicians require to survive the months that lie ahead, and we are supporting the music industry campaign for meaningful help to be provided. Even if the government ultimately acknowledges and acts upon its responsibilities, there will still be a time lag before musicians receive their assistance.

Therefore, Help Musicians has set up the Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may be facing. We have created a fund of £5m to help reduce the worry many musicians are experiencing about their mounting household expenses.

How to apply

Applications for this fund are submitted through an online form and offers a one-off payment of £500 per applicant. We regret that, because of the demand we anticipate, we cannot at this stage commit to making more than one payment to any individual from this temporary financial hardship fund as a result of the coronavirus.

We encourage musicians only to apply if they are indeed suffering significant financial hardship to enable us to provide help quickly to those who need it the most. If anyone is concerned that an individual has abused this charity’s generosity, we encourage you to let us know at Hardshipfund@helpmusicians.org.uk. As the Help Musicians team continue to deal with an increased number of enquiries for support and advice please can we ask you not to ring the team in relation to your application to this fund.

Who is the fund for?

The fund is open to anyone that satisfies our general criteria for support:

  • You are a professional working musician (by which we mean performer, composer/creator or directly involved in the production of music, or in work for which the main qualification is a high level of musical training)
  • You are self employed or currently unemployed
  • You are in need of financial help
  • You satisfy our residency requirements
  • You are not currently in full-time Further or Higher Education

This is an emergency offer of immediate financial support however we are still here to help musicians with advice and support through our team and our Music Minds Matter support line is available anytime day or night for emotional support.

What happens after you have submitted the application form?

If you are successful you will be notified by email within 10 working days of the submission of your application. The funds will be transferred directly to your bank account. If you have not received an email or any funds into your account within 10 working days, sadly you have not been successful. Unfortunately, due to the expected demand you will not be able to resubmit an application to us.


Health and Welfare Support

The Health and Welfare team offers structured support to professional musicians in times of personal crisis. Our approach is person-centred; building tailored support around an individual’s specific needs. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, Help Musicians is unable to replace lost earnings. But we are able to provide financial support in cases of significant financial hardship as well as signposting for debt/welfare related issues. We also provide financial assistance for health interventions and access to music specialist health assessments for performance related health issues.

Although Help Musicians is structured to support musicians in times of crisis, we cannot offer assistance in response to every situation. Please see below for the matters that we are not able to assist with.

Eligibility Criteria

We can help you if:

  • You are a working professional musician (by which we mean a performer, composer/creator or directly involved in the production of music, or in work for which the main qualification is a high level of musical training)
  • You are retired and your principal career was in music
  •  You work in a related music profession
  • In some circumstances we can help if you are a dependant or partner of a musician

As well as being in one of the four categories above, you will need to:

  • Show us you are in need of financial help
  • Satisfy our residency requirements  

Please find more information here.

 

Contact our Health & Welfare Team - help@helpmusicians.org.uk telephone: 0207 239 9101

 

Matters we cannot support

Our intention is to be able to help all musicians who approach us for help. However, in some cases we are unable to assist as our resources must be allocated to areas in which we can have the greatest impact. The list below, gives an indication of some of the items of expenditure that we are unable to fund:

  • Direct replacement of lost earnings
  • National Insurance or Income, Inheritance or Capital Gains Tax Bills
  • Insurance or extended warranties on white goods
  • Legal advice (except that available through Music Minds Matter)
  • Legal costs (other than court fees for bankruptcy)
  • Payment of membership fees
  • Promotion and advertising
  • Repairs and maintenance to rented properties
  • Repaying debts or loans from family, friends or corporate entities
  • Retrospective payments i.e. reimbursement for payments already made or committed to
  • School fees and instrument lessons (except in cases of retraining following illness or injury)

We are also unable to act as guarantors.


Mental health support

Music Minds Mattercontact MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk telephone 0808 802 8008 (24hrs free support line)

Help Musicians runs a support line called Music Minds Matter (MMM) available any time of day or night for a listening ear; it doesn’t have to be a crisis. We have trained advisors that are here to listen, support and help at any time. Through calling MMM, eligible musicians can access free face-to-face or telephone counselling, or online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Please note: if you are currently based overseas, but are a UK national, then you are still welcome to call Music Minds Matter if needed. Call fees may vary, but if you are eligible to access telephone counselling then Help Musicians can still fund the necessary telephone calls.

 

3) Signposting to other organisations who may be able to offer support

The Musicians’ Union have a website page dedicated to information on coronavirus here, and ISM has a page here.

There are many other music organisations which are offering support and guidance so do check other websites, particularly if you have a membership of another organisation.

Please also make use of government advice relating to state support, guidance for the self-employed (e.g in relation to Employment and Support Allowance) and other relevant issues.

For advice on debt management:

STEPCHANGE

contact www.stepchange.org telephone 0800 138 1111

You can access debt advice and support through StepChange on: 0800 138 1111

Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm

BUSINESS DEBT LINE

contact www.businessdebtline.org telephone 0800 197 6026

If you require advice about business related debts you can call the Business debt line on: 0800 197 6026 Monday to Friday: 9am - 8pm.

ShareShare this Back
Help Musicians UK on Twitter

RT : In the midst of cancelled tours and festivals, we are delighted to announce that , , ,…

17 hours ago

RT : Musicians needing ££ for projects - the fund is open now and closes 14 Apr. Really posi…

17 hours ago

RT : Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland based practitioners offer their expertise in our next set of Healthy Performance worksh…

17 hours ago

Follow us