General Assistance Fund

Since 1995, the Rory Peck Trust has given support to freelance journalists and their families when they need help. This includes freelancers who have been seriously injured, threatened, imprisoned, detained, forced into exile or killed as a result of their work. 

About the Fund.

What support do we offer?

According to the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Population Survey, there were around 32,000 freelance journalists in the UK in 2019. The surge in freelancers, however, has not been met by funding from bodies who’ve tended to direct financial help to newsrooms rather than individuals. At this most challenging time, we are focusing on helping British freelance journalists and those commissioned by British media around the world through our General Assistance Fund.

Our General Assistance Fund will assist professional freelance journalists who are facing a crisis directly related to their work. The amount of assistance varies according to the particular circumstances of the applicant, but may include medical and rehabilitation costs, subsistence costs, legal advice and relocation costs. Sometimes our grants support a freelance journalist forced into exile or help replace stolen or confiscated equipment. They may also provide assistance to a freelancer’s family following an injury, imprisonment, kidnap or death. Our aim is to help grantees overcome a crisis and, where possible, resume work.

Am I eligible for a grant?

Until the end of 2020, our General Assistance Fund will focus on British freelance journalists and journalists of any nationality working for British media outlets on a freelance basis.

Are you a professional freelance news journalist whose main source of income is from journalism? If so, you may be eligible for an assistance grant.

You must meet all of the following essential criteria:

  • You must be a British journalist or a journalist of any nationality commissioned by British media;
  • You are not entitled to any contractual benefits such as sick pay, annual leave, social security or pension, as you are not a permanent staff member of any media organisation;
  • Your income for the last 12 months has come mainly from professional news journalism (this does not include material produced for trade publications, travel guides, advocacy and campaigning materials, etc);
  • You are able to provide proof of income and outgoings for the last six months, two reference letters and evidence of your latest published work;
  • You are able to receive a grant from a British registered charity.

How long does it take to receive a grant?

The application process usually takes from one to several weeks, during which time one of our researchers will work with you to find out how our financial support can best help you. We aim to reply to every request, but please note that we will not be able to provide individual feedback to those we aren’t able to support.

We also work closely with an international network of partners and may refer applicants to appropriate organisations around the world for specific advice and expertise, specialist needs or additional funds.

How do I apply?

If you are a British freelancer, a freelance journalist of any nationality working for British media, or a family member of a freelancer in a critical situation, please complete the online application form by clicking the button below, providing as much detail as possible. 

Your application will be assessed and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence. Once we confirm that you are eligible for the fund, you will be asked to supply evidence to support your application, as above.

All grant applications will be individually considered by The Rory Peck Trust. The Trust’s decision will be final.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us at

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