Financial help when you need it most

Welfare Grants

It's not easy asking for money, but often that’s a reality that comes hand in hand with the uncertainties of this volatile profession. Our one-off welfare grants are there to help you stem the shortfall when faced with an unforeseen medical, financial or professional event. 


How grants are made

We are here to help you look at your situation with a fresh pair of eyes.  Whether you need debt or benefits guidance, or help with overcoming an accident or paying a bill, we will do our best to get you back on your feet.

Welfare Surgery

You can book a 75-minute surgery to discuss any issues concerning benefits claims, eligibility, and general benefits advice to help maximise your income.

Who is eligible?

Industry professionals who are eligible for an Equity card; please note however that you’re not required to be a current Equity member in order to apply.

Each case is considered on its own merit and is dealt with in complete confidence.


The Trustees convene every two months to consider applications, and you will be notified directly thereafter. In exceptional circumstances, emergency payments can be made between meetings.

Apply Now

Download the Welfare Grants application form.

Send the completed form which should be saved as a single PDF or Word document under your name, along with your professional CV and any supporting documentation (such as medical correspondence, copies of outstanding bills or a doctor's note). Please note we're not accepting applications by post, so email us on


Making an application

Our function, at Equity Charitable Trust, is to assess applications and give grants for financial assistance for basic living costs to performance professionals who are faced with unexpected hardship, illness, medical treatment or loss of income. Each case is considered against the agreed criteria and on its own merit and is dealt with in complete confidence.

An applicant must be a performance professional which means that they are either a member of Equity, or a former member of Equity or eligible for Equity membership. This includes actors, choreographers, dancers, theatre directors, models, singers, stage management, stand ups, storytellers, stunt performers and co-ordinators, theatre designers, theatre fight directors, TV and radio presenters, variety, circus, cabaret and light entertainment artists, voice artists, walk-on and supporting artists.

Applications may be made by performance professionals who are resident, and entitled to work, in the United Kingdom.

All applications must be made on the standard application form.

Staff will review each application and bring to the Welfare Committee a recommendation on those applications which meet the criteria for a grant.

Applications are assessed by the staff and the Welfare Committee, which meets regularly, on the basis of an applicant’s assets, liabilities and need including, but not limited to, savings, investments, loans, credit card debt, CCJ’s and tax, monthly income including royalties and residuals, maintenance support, pension, state benefits, monthly outgoings including mortgage or rent, council tax, utilities, living, car and travel costs.


Making a decision

The following guidelines are taken into account when the Welfare Committee makes a decision on an application although the Committee has a discretion in exceptional circumstances if such meet the requirements of our charitable objectives:


  • The recommendation of the Secretary and/or Welfare Officer.
  • Generally, applicants with savings of £6,000 or more will not be eligible for a grant unless the savings are in an account whereby the applicant would suffer a financial detriment if they are used. For example, if the money is in a tax savings account that is earmarked for HMRC or if the penalty for releasing money from an ISA or other investment vehicle is prohibitive, and thus creates further debt for the applicant.
  • The usual maximum grant is £2,500 per application and £5,000 maximum per applicant in the event of more than one application.
  • Priority will be given to first time applicants and applicants with a disability.
  • More than one application per applicant is permitted, but second or subsequent applications may be advised to reapply at a later date to ECT or another charity if their situation does not improve.
  • A decision is determined by a majority vote For or Against by members of the Welfare Committee present at the meeting. The Chair will not vote except in the event of a tie when s/he will have a casting vote.
  • The decision of the Welfare Committee is final, and no further communication will be entered into.


Applicants will be informed of the decision as soon as practical and preferably within 2 working days of the date of the meeting.



  • We don’t cover credit card debt
  • We prefer to pay the provider directly when possible