Training Courses & Workshops

AJ Bursary for Mental Health First Aider Training

Backup’s remit is to support the welfare of our technical community and is here to help if colleagues are in a dark place whether because of mental health issues, hardship, injury or illness.

Backup recognises the need to positively communicate with our colleagues and to be aware of how they might be feeling and to ensure that they are not suffering alone.

We have launched the AJ Bursary to give freelancers free Mental Health First Aider training, to ensure that in every crew there is at least one trained Mental Health First Aider crew member for every 20 crew members. We trust that venues, promoters and production companies will engage with this is and it becomes part of crew contracts.

In general, the role of a Mental Health First Aider is to be a point of contact for anyone who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction can range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help.

MHFA Course Provider

Backup is delighted to partner with fellow industry charity, Music Support which, as an MHFA England Instructor Member, will provide the courses.

We feel it is important the course is delivered by an accredited MHFA provider that has a first-hand understanding of our industry and the challenges that our colleagues face.

AJ Bursary Criteria

The training courses are FREE via our AJ Bursary and are offered to FREELANCERS only at this stage, as we feel it is the freelance community that has the most immediate need. You also must be a working freelancer with your primary income from working in the technical entertainment industry only.

There are 100 course places available and it will be on a first come first served basis. Current training will be 2x Full Day Sessions, delivered in an online course, start time 9am / finish time 5pm with breaks. Click ‘Apply Now’ for full details on training and dates.

We encourage our colleagues in the freelance community to sign up!

Additionally anyone completing the course will be able to use the new industry MHFA logo we have launched, you can read more about this here

Upcoming course dates:

November 2022 Course Block

Session 1: Monday 14th Nov,  1pm – 5pm 

Session 2: Wednesday 16th Nov,  1pm – 5pm 

Session 3: Monday 21st Nov,  1pm – 5pm 

Session 4: Wednesday 23rd Nov,  1pm – 5pm 

Currently all courses are delivered as an Online Course

You can also sign up to be notified of future course blocks when announced, click on below

Music Support MHFA Instructor

AJ Bursary MHFA Training Sponsor

Backup’s AJ Bursary MHFA Training is generously sponsored by Unusual Rigging in memory of Alan ‘AJ’ Jacobi who was a long serving and valued Backup trustee and founder of Unusual Rigging.

“AJ was always concerned about the welfare of his colleagues, and it is wonderful that Unusual Rigging has sponsored this training in his memory,” says Backup Chair, John Simpson. “We are not good at asking for help or asking others if they need help. We want to change that.”

addiction and recovery aware training workshop

TPG – Tour Production Group have commissioned Music Support to create and deliver an Addiction and Recovery Aware training workshop. TPG and Music Support are able to offer bursaries to complete the training for FREE if you are a FREELANCER working in live music or live event production.

For further information about eligibility and how to apply visit

The free bursaries have been made possible thanks to funding from Backup, We Need Crew, Massive Attack, Hipgnosis Songs and Rock-it Cargo