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 fully-accredited 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.

To be eligible for the bursary you must be self-employed, working full time (or primary income) in a freelance capacity (ideally for a minimum of five years) as crew/production personnel (which could range from Rigging and Catering to Production Assistant and Tour Manager and everything in between) in the UK music and live events industries.

There are 100 course places available and it will be on a first come first served basis. The two-day course is currently being delivered on Zoom over four half days. You need to attend all four sessions to complete the training.

We encourage our colleagues in the freelance community to apply!

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:

April 19th – 27th    

  • Live Session 1 Wednesday 19th April 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 2 Thursday 20th April 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 3 Wednesday 26th April 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 4 Thursday 27th April 10am – 2pm

May 4th – 12th    

  • Live Session 1 Thursday 4th May 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 2 Friday 5th May 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 3 Thursday 11th May 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 4 Friday 12th May 10am – 2pm

June 19th – 28th     

  • Live Session 1 Monday 19th June 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 2 Wednesday 21st June 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 3 Monday 26th June 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 4 Wednesday 28th June 10am – 2pm

July 3rd – 12th     

  • Live Session 1 Monday 3rd July 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 2 Wednesday 5th July 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 3 Monday 10th July 10am – 2pm
  • Live Session 4 Wednesday 12th July 10am – 2pm

Apply / Book Course:

Currently all courses are delivered as an Online Course. For further details and to apply to book on course , contact Music Support directly at [email protected]

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