COVID-19 Hardship Fund

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the livelihoods of freelance journalists around the world – and we want to help.

About the Fund.

In response to the devastating impact of the pandemic, the Rory Peck Trust has created a dedicated fund to provide practical and financial support to active freelance news journalists whose work and livelihoods have been directly affected by COVID-19. 

Successful applicants will receive a single grant of between £200-£500 to contribute to subsistence (home/food) costs for them and their dependents.

Am I eligible for a grant?

Are you a professional freelance news journalist whose only source of income is from journalism? If so, then you may be eligible for a grant from our COVID-19 Hardship Fund.

Please note that if you have already started the application process for our Assistance Grants, you cannot apply for this fund.

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Hardship Fund, you must satisfy all of the essential criteria and one or more of the application criteria, listed below.

Essential Criteria (You must meet ALL of the points below to be eligible)

  • I am unable to access any assistance (governmental, non-governmental) for freelance journalists or self-employed workers in the country where I’m based or the country where I come from.
  • I am not entitled to any contractual benefits such as sick pay, annual leave, social security or pension, as I am not a permanent staff member of any media organisation.
  • I now have no other source of income and my finances have directly been affected by COVID-19.
  • My income for the last three months has come from journalism only (this does not include publications related to trade, guides, activism, etc).
  • I am able to provide proof of income and outgoings for the last three months, two reference letters and evidence of my latest published work.

Application Criteria (You MUST also meet at least one of the points below to be eligible)

  • I’ve been actively working as a freelance news journalist for at least the last three months, but my commissions have dried up due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • I had started an assignment for a media organisation that has been terminated unilaterally due to COVID-19 and have not been given any compensation or kill fee.
  • I recently became a provider for a media organisation and they are now no longer able to pay me for my content.
  • My journalistic work as a freelancer has been directly affected as I am either unable to travel to complete my assignment or I am in self- isolation/quarantine/lockdown.
  • I am unable to work because I have no access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

If you do not meet the above criteria but still need assistance, please visit our Assistance Grants page.

How do I apply?

If you are a freelancer who has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure you are eligible to apply by reading the above section. Before you apply, please also check that you are able to receive a grant from a British registered charity.

 If you satisfy all of the essential criteria and one or more of the application criteria listed above, please fill out our online application form by clicking the button below.

Your application will be assessed in detail and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence. Once we have confirmed you are eligible for the fund, you will be asked to supply evidence in the form of references, payslips, bank statements, invoices, etc. to support your application.

At this time, the application form is only available in English. 


Due to the high number of requests expected, please give our small assistance team at least a week to respond to your application before contacting us. We endeavour to reply to every request, but please note that we will not be able to provide individual feedback to those we haven’t been able to support.

Please note that the number of grants available is limited and the fund will close when we have allocated all available funding.