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who we have helped

  • I don’t know of another industry where your friends one day are also your colleagues, employers, employees, or your competition at different times. We are part of one big fantastic family, supporting each other through the good times, and also the bad. In my worst days, the financial support I received was an amazing help that I can never repay, but more than that, just knowing there were people who understood I was going through something and wanted to help, whether they knew me before or not, is something I'm forever grateful for.

    Harry Tabner
  • Getting the help from you has ensured that I haven't given up on my career and it feels like I've had a little bit of magical dust sprinkled over me and boy did I need it!

  • In October 2016 I was diagnosed with high grade non-Hodgkins lymphoma of the central nervous system and brain which came as a real shock to me and my family. I had gone to the hospital to investigate a back pain whilst working on tour with Level 42.

    Upon diagnosis, I had to stop working on the tour, cancel all future work and submit to rounds of chemotherapy followed by the usual tests and checkups. I have just finished my fourth round of chemotherapy but it looks as if more treatment will be necessary.

    At the start of all this, apart from the daunting prospect of treatment, I and my wife and two children faced a real financial battle with no income for at least six months. What few savings we had would rapidly diminish and a tax bill was looming.

    I had heard of Backup through a friend and got in touch. The Trustees of the Backup charity stepped forward and worked with Light Relief charity who both awarded us an incredibly generous grant which gave us a lifeline and we feel very humbled and lucky to have been helped in this way.

    We are amazed at the generosity of our industry in times of trouble and anything I can do to help the charity to raise funds and to tell everyone in our industry how important it is that we all support Backup and help others in need.

    Mark Pritchard - Sadly, despite stem cell surgery and further chemotherapy, Mark died in January 2018 leaving behind his wife and two young children.
  • This is the kindest gesture we've ever received from anybody and we are so so grateful beyond words, please thank the trustees and all those involved in the Charity in funding it. Without any doubt whatsoever this grant will put both our minds at ease over the coming months knowing that our finances won't fall behind & most importantly that we can keep a roof over our heads!

    The Charity board came to our rescue last year when my partner was diagnosed with Lymphoma shortly after our daughter was born. As a full time employed technician and as a father and sole carer for the family there was no margin for anything else to fall apart around us and having financial worries thrown into the mix was simply too much to cope with.

    Through their experience and humanity, the Charity completely understood the challenges we were likely to face and gave us a grant as a means to ensure our financial security during what turned out to be an extremely tough year.

    The generosity and support meant that all of our energy could be focused on my partner’s recovery & our family’s well-being instead of worrying about bills or food or rent.

  • Thank you - without the assistance of Backup I would likely be homeless. Because of mental health problems I have struggled to find and keep work - this is not a forgiving industry when it comes to long term health problems. My financial situation is dire, but Backup has given me some breathing room to try and concentrate on some sort of recovery.

  • I’d like to write about how the money from the Charity helped me, as I am a carer for my father and I work in a costume department. My father had to go into hospital but unfortunately at this time I also had a breakdown. 
    Backup – our Technical Entertainment Charity has helped me get back on my feet with the money and the full support they have given me has been brilliant. Thank you.

  • I cannot thank everybody at Backup enough. I do not know where I would be, without all of help and support that Backup has given me. It enabled me to recover, without worrying about money

  • I really don’t know what to say.  This is incredible. Thank you so much.  
    This will definitely lift the burden for a few months. As I go in for a stem cell transplant on the 15th March for 3-4 weeks this help couldn’t be more timely.


Backup grants have brought help and hope to industry members and their families during some of their darkest hours.

Some recipients have chosen to remain private while others have stepped forward to tell what kind of impact the grants have had on their lives.

What We Do

Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity – provides financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film.

Are you or a family member seriously ill or suffering from an accident and needing support?
Is there someone you know who needs help?

Backup offers support and help to get you back on your feet.

Grants are tailored to an individual’s needs and can include essential living costs, medical related expenses, advice, re-training and travel.

Backup works with potential recipients to fully understand the support needed and ensure that help is targeted effectively.

Backup will stay in contact with recipients and provide ongoing support.

Our Trustees & Patrons

  • Sir Howard Panter (BackUp Chair)
  • Simon Callow
  • Jonathan Church
  • Lord Hall of Birkenhead
  • Sir David Hare
  • Bobby Aitken
  • Lee Dennison
  • Dee Edwards
  • Rick Fisher
  • Canna Gray
  • Peter Heath
  • Alan Jacobi (Treasurer)
  • Stuart Milne
  • Paul Robson
  • Piers Shepperd (Vice Chair)
  • John Simpson (Chair)
  • David Smellie