COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Supported by the Committee to Protect Journalists and administered by the Rory Peck Trust

About the Fund.

In response to the devastating impact of the pandemic, the Rory Peck Trust launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in March. With the support of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), we have been able to reopen the fund to continue to provide practical and financial support to active freelance news journalists whose work and livelihoods have been directly affected by coronavirus.

Successful applicants will receive a single grant of up to $2000/£1500 to contribute to subsistence (home/food) costs for them and their dependents.

Please note that the number of grants available is limited and the fund will close when we have allocated all funding. Each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the Trust’s decision on each case is final. 

Am I eligible for a grant?

Are you a professional freelance journalist working in news and current affairs whose only source of income comes from journalism? If so, then you may be eligible for a grant.

You must meet all of the following essential criteria:

  • You must be a freelance journalist who does not have a regular salary or retainer;
  • You must have been actively working as a journalist for at least six months before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic (30th January 2020);
  • You must have lost work directly due to COVID-19; e.g. upcoming work was cancelled or a planned assignment was postponed because of travel and/or work restrictions;
  • Your lost income has led to hardship;
  • You do not have access to any other financial support or resources, i.e. government support or savings;
  • 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.

If you do not meet the above criteria but still need assistance, please visit our Assistance Grants page to see if you qualify for one of our other funds.

How do I apply?

If you are a freelancer who has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, please first ensure you are eligible to apply by reading the above section. If you satisfy all of the essential criteria, please complete the online application by clicking the button below.

Your application will be assessed in detail and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence. As part of your application, you will be asked to supply evidence in the form of references, payslips, bank statements, invoices, etc. to support your request.

At this time, the application form is only available in English. However, you may complete it in any language.


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.

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