Guidance for DSS Applicants

The Directors Support Scheme offers financial help to fellow Directors in need. The scheme is designed to offer short-term support and is not suitable for those in need of long-term, continuous assistance.  The scheme aims to:

  • Facilitate access to those eligible;

  • Maintain strict confidentiality;

  • Operate with the minimum of formality;

  • Minimise bureaucracy.

Who is eligible for support?

Current and former Directors in any medium are eligible to apply. The qualifying criterion is the creation of a work in any medium for which the applicant was credited/listed as Director and which was presented to a paying public and/or attracted the payment of a fee. Close family members (partners, children, siblings) of Directors may also apply.

How do I apply?

Applications should be in the form of a simple letter or email outlining succinctly the specific need or circumstances for which financial support is being sought. This should also list any alternative sources of funds being sought, such as other charitable bodies, insurance companies, etc.  Applications should be accompanied by a professional CV detailing the main directing credits of the applicant. Applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

How much can I apply for?

Applications are considered for grants from £100 to £1000; recent awards have usually been between £300 and £500.

What is being supported?

While all applications are considered, the following examples illustrate the types of situations to which the Foundation gives priority:

Medical needs: Help towards the cost of medically-related equipment; returning home following an accident; medical procedures and interventions not available on the NHS.
Costs of care: Help towards the costs of child care or the care of other dependants arising from specific and time-limited circumstances, such as the illness of the usual family carer, the need to arrange care away from home due to professional engagements, etc.

Age-related: Help towards the cost of transportation; cleaning and other domestic services; an accompanying carer.

Mental Health: The cost of counselling. The Foundation can also facilitate access to specialist counsellors.

Funeral Costs: Contributions towards the costs of burials and services for Directors and their immediate families.

The Foundation will also consider offering partial support for:

  • Travel for the purpose of study and professional development as a Director.

  • Retraining into an alternative profession.

  • Access to specified materials and equipment essential to study and/or professional development (including computer programs, technical equipment, etc).

Examples of recent awards include:

  • Help with bills for a TV Director whose child was diagnosed with a severe disability, necessitating adjustments to work and life arrangements.

  • Help with child care for a theatre director while she was working away from home.

  • Help with specific costs for a TV Director caring for elderly parents with complex needs.

  • Help with accommodation and travel to support an Opera Director's career development.

How are applications assessed?

Every year the DCF Board appoints a small group of Trustees to act as an Assessing Panel. All applications are initially scrutinised by the DCF administrator to ascertain eligibility. Eligible applications are then assessed by the Panel, who report to the DCF Board. The decision of the Board is final.

Applications are treated in the strictest confidence and are only viewed by the Administrator and the assessors. The current assessors are Philippa Cousins and Tom Roberts. If you wish your application to be assessed in confidence by an alternative panel (perhaps because you know one or more of the designated assessors) please let the Administrator know and she will endeavour to make appropriate arrangements.

We regret that we cannot enter into correspondence with individual applicants.

When can I apply?

Applications may be lodged at any time of the year. The Assessment Panel considers applications once a month. In an emergency, the Panel may decide on applications outside its scheduled meetings. The full Board meets five times per year.

Can I apply again?

If the application was not successful, it will not be reconsidered within the same financial year (September to August).  If the application was successful, applicants may apply for continuation funding after the expiry of one year from the date on which the award was paid out, outlining why it has not been possible to access alternative, longer-term sources of support.  Please include within the application the date you last received funding from us.  Other than in exceptional circumstances, the maximum number of awards granted to any individual will be three.