Chair: Peter McKintosh

Minutes: Josie Underwood

Present: Josie Underwood, Paul Carey Jones, Alistair Cope, Bill Bankes-Jones, Kelsie Acton, Vicki Mortimer, Paule Constable, Jake Orr, Freddie Crossley, Matt Humphrey, Nikki Edmonds, Hazel Holder, Peter McKintosh, Emma Jayne Park, Sunita Hinduja

Apologies: Susan Kempster

Updates and reports

PCA Daily call

PC: Joined up thinking is very important at the moment so it would be good to perhaps have a conversation with them about how we can help.

FC: I can talk to Jack about this

PC: Could Jack join us for a friday meeting?

FC: Next week?

Action points:

  • Contact Jack from PCA to come to next fridays meeting – 


Big Freelancer Survey 2

AC: Epic 3 and a half hour meeting yesterday going through the survey, which needs a couple of final edits and then we will be sending out internally to receive feedback.

10 days away from launch. An article has been written to go in The Stage, ask to Paule; what is the best way to contact The Stage for publication?

PC: It should come from hello@ but they are already aware that this is coming so PC will give them a further heads up.

MH: Any help to sharing the survey when published would be appreciated.

EJ: The response to the Omicron survey was that (even thought it was a specifically England based survey) was that devolved nations were missed out – we need to make sure that if this is a UK wide survey then it addresses all it needs to in regards to this.

VM: We should include Symposium partners to help spread the survey. How we share the Omicron data with an acknowledgment that it is rushed, we don’t know how DCMS will use this data, that it is a specific England based survey. Also to flag that BFS is on it’s way, which addresses all nations equally.

PCJ: Make a strength of the Omicron England survey being so recent.

In terms of making sure that it is truly UK-wide we have done our best so far but part of the next feedback process will be to make sure that this is being done. Know we need more voices from this perspective. 

Access – we have discussed accessibility of the survey previously but need to reiterate the importance of the this and get the ball rolling.

JU: Have a meeting with KA on monday to discuss access.

Have already shared with other people before christmas, but will share again! And will share a list of those that have already been contacted on slack and we can add to this list of contacts to share with.

EJ: How can the devolved nations become more involved from the beginning, and making sure that they can actually use the data. Linking with people who will be able to use the data and see if there’s anything missing/ needs adjusting to assist their current lobbying strategy. EJ will find the list of Scottish (lobbying) networks that they put together for FMTW and they could possibly be sent a draft of the survey?

SH: Is there any merit in using language that people feel more familiar with, eg census? The language of survey/census has a difference – general agreement.

AC: We have talked about ‘census’ a lot, but haven’t actually put it in the language of the survey itself yet. 

VM: Do we need an open house event to explain and contextualise the survey/census? – Josie to set up.


In chat:

BBJ: Here’s another omicron/pandemic survey for Cornwall.  I was very thwarted, spent 20 minutes this morning doing it then it wouldn’t save, but also questions were a really bad fit for may working life.  I’ll put this in slack too.

Action points:

  • Share list of other places/people we have shared with for people to add to – JU
  • Set up an open house to discuss – JU
  • Share list of Scottish (Lobbying) networks – EJ
  • Specify devolved nations to share survey with – ALL
  • Share the Big Freelance Survey draft with friends and family – BFS working group


Skills based workshops

JU: Having a meeting Monday morning 10am if anyone wants to come! For more info contact Josie. Meeting link here: 

Action points:

  • Share link for monday morning skills based workshop meeting – JU


Wellbeing programme

AC: Continuing with Tea Breaks weekly – hoping to increase engagement, but perhaps starting to start doing more in-person picnics when the weather gets better, Dawn Chorus is becoming monthly, with an additional Q&A session. Every other Tuesday we will be having a 1 hour Yoga session. Freelance Problem Solving will be every other week (wednesday evenings and saturday mornings) – up to 20 people per meeting, facilitated by Andrew, each week a problem (or problems) will be discussed and freelancers can share their thoughts/ideas/learning.

Newsletter will go out this week and this programme will launch this week


FMTW in Scotland

JU: Talks about FMTW’s role in Scotland started before Christmas. We will have a meeting about this in the future, there is a when2meet for us to find a time to make this happen.

SH: Is this internal or can I invite Scottish people?

VM: Great idea! There is a possibility that Scottish freelancers don’t need us but keeping up our networks would be great.

Action points:

  • Share link to meeting poll for ‘FMTW in Scotland’ chat – JU
  • Invite Scottish freelancers to ‘FMTW in Scotland’ – SH



JU: We have come to the end of the Inc Arts Unlock programme and now need to start working back through our commitments. We have started a poll for a new weekly meeting time as attendance on Weds mornings is currently very low. Link for this poll: 

VM: Is there a document where the commitments we have made are all compiled in one place?

JU: Yes, I will find and share/create!

Action points:

  • Share Unlock anti-racism commitments – JU
  • Share poll for anti-racism weekly meetings – JU



JU: An area of FMTW interest highlighted at the away day was Outreach and this is still on our agenda to look at, but as we are currently busy with Survey and Symposium and new wellbeing etc we have put this on the back burner to start looking at in Feb/Mar.

SH: What do you mean by ‘outreach’?

AC: Linking up with other groups, reaching demographics and areas that we haven’t yet reached. Identifying them, working out how we approach them. Different to onboarding.


Creative UK feedback

PC: Creative UK (which was the Creative Industries Federation) brought together a group of people to discuss the immediate crisis across the sector. There were 9/10 freelancers in the room Chino and Steffan were there, more freelance voices in the room than a year ago but still thin on the ground.

Audiences numbers felt like the priority to everyone.

A freelancer was asked to talk, and they said that everything was fine. PC, CO, SD & MH were communicating throughout and PC eventually stepped in to say that nothing was ok, and there was serious issues that we need to start working on.

MH: Paule getting angry was the turning point, and a brilliant moment. A document was shared, that was an appraisal and breakdown of what other countries have done eg, UBI etc. There feels like work with gov and DCMS that can be done.

VM: Who created this?

PC: Trevor McFarland share, Matt will find.

VM: Feels like something that could go into the ACE Symposium to aid the work done there.

PC: It was a very interesting group of people in the room. Financial side was a focus, but wellbeing is another side of that conversation that needs to keep going. Let’s gather those that would be interested to support work in this area. Somebody needs to pay for this work! If anyone is interested to join, please do! If we had a chance to meet as freelancers beforehand for the next meeting we would be stronger.

EJ: Thank you for bringing that rage PC. How can we combat the problem of the initial freelance speaker not being well enough equipped to talk on the situation? Could FMTW create a ‘freelancer briefing’ document that is updated like the MP’s letter, that equips freelancers when going into these rooms?

Talking point: Are unions invited into these spaces?

PM: Continue after break at the end of the conversation if possible.

Action points:

  • Share document of UBI/support in other countries – MH
  • Create a freelancer briefing (Monthly ‘State of the Industry’) – EJ suggestion


Agenda points


Just Giving on behalf of FMTW for Amanda Parker

PM: This comes after the terrible news of the loss of Harvey Parker

HH: I suggested contributing to the Just Giving page because after reading the family statement this felt like a way of showing solidarity with her. She has so much energy and vibrancy and she cares so much about our community, so it would be a way to show our love and support for her.

PC: Is there a way to encourage people to support them? Do we make personal donations on behalf of FMTW, or as a FMTW donations?

BBJ: We can’t use funds that we have been given for other work, but we can do a whip around of personal funds? The family have the right to manage the connection between Amanda’s professional work and personal life, so it doesn’t feel like our place to connect the two.

JO: Mind has changed since hearing BBJ speak, but we could use merchandise funds as it is unrestricted.

EJ: The family statement feels very clear, and the communities Harvey was a part of have all made their own statements. Offer: A whip around within FMTW that is topped up with march funds, and a card from FMTW. The family have asked for privacy quite explicitly.

AS: Aware of virtue signaling. A public statement feels inappropriate. Individual donations feels like a nice way to show the amount of support.

PC: Bat signal to make everyone aware that the donation is an option. A card feels like a good suggestion.

VM: Happy to send a card with Hazel’s help.

Action points:

  • Bat Signal the Just Giving link and let people know that we are going to send a card on behalf of FMTW, and individually make donations and that anyone is welcome to do so also – JU
  • Send a card to Parker family – VM/HH


ACE Symposium

VM: Had a meeting earlier this week to talk about FMTW’s involvement in the ACE Symposium. Brief history: ACE put out a tender for a symposium for freelancers. People Make It Work came forward to us and asked whether we would like to partner with them and other orgs to make this happed.

Currently FC, JO and EJ have volunteered to get the ball rolling and will attend the meeting that is happening next week with the partners.

If anyone is interested in more detail in who the partners are or anything else, there are people who can answer (Josie, Vicki, Jake, EJ, Freddie)

PC: As the project develops will there be a space where we can regroup and along with those who are leading.

EJ: This is a start point, so it felt important that 1-3 people are point people (not Al and Josie), but that this will be a fluid group. Aware that the current diversity of the group leading at the moment isn’t super diverse.

Acknowledge that we are entering with a theatre freelancer focus as opposed to all creative freelancers. What are the goals of FMTW in this space? Can we go in and dream big?

VM: A sense of any priorities we would like to take onto this project would be great. Identify who isnt in the room that should be.

AC: Has there been a timing for the symposium discussed?

JU: Timeframe from Nyasha’s notes: End of Jan – Proposed programme. March – Confirmation of event programme. May/June – Delivery of Event. July – Evaluation.

PC: Is the SOLT document of principles useful for this? Pathways and areas of concern.

JU: There has yet to be an agreed payment arrangement, so this is still up in the air, but there is budget for freelancers to be paid for this work.

EJ: More joined up thinking. This puts us in a room with really great partners.

FC: Symposium is on zoom at the moment. Is there any thoughts about it being online/in person? In person would be very nice.

JU: There is a great energy in the shared room, and there was so much passion for continued partnerships.

FC: Created a document for ideas/thought/dreams/etc to take into the space: 

Action points:

  • Fill in Freddies symposium doc with ideas/thought/dreams/etc



Big 12 funding

JO: We will be meeting to discuss the next steps. This will include nudging those that have yet to respond, those who are thinking about it, and also drawing up an agreement for the orgs that will be funding us.

  • Big 12 meeting to be set – Fundraising team


10 Principles

PC: This needs to be an ongoing conversation. There was a critical mass of freelancers in the FED meeting yesterday, which made making our point much more comfortable.

We are being invited into the SOLT / UK Theatre room, and this feels like an opportunity to keep these conversations ongoing.

  • Arrange meeting with SOLT / UK Theatre – PC/JU (everyone welcome!)


Omicron Survey

VM: Thank you EJ for summarising and AC for your work on the survey (and the rest of the team!) We have come to an agreement with DCMS about the statement we will release about the outcome of the survey – including the england-centricity, a thank you to those who took park etc

AC: It will go out on the website and our social media channels. Is the intro from DCMS final?

VM: DCMS have agreed to the copy as of this morning.

EJ: It needs to be explicit that the survey was for freelancers in England that have been impacted by Omicron.

VM: Should we offer the raw data to be available to anyone that is interested? (EJ has compiled this)

EJ: Did we tell people that their answers would be kept confidential and not shared – as there is some identifiable information in the data and this would over step the mark with the respondents.



This week – Wellbeing

Week after next – Big Freelancer Survey

Should we have a monthly ‘state of the nation’ newsletter?

JU: Could it be helpful that we have the structure of three monthly newsletters; ‘What FMTW are up to?’, ‘State of the industry’, and ‘Think piece’, plus one other? Or just three a month?



  • Contact Jack from PCA to come to next fridays meeting – FC
  • Share list of other places/people we have shared info of the Big Freelancer Survey with for people to add to – JU
  • Share list of Scottish (Lobbying) networks – EJ
  • Specify devolved nations to share draft survey with – ALL
  • Share the Big Freelance Survey draft with friends and family – BFS working group
  • Set up an open house to discuss Big Freelancer Survey- JU
  • Share link for monday morning skills based workshop meeting – JU
  • Share link to meeting poll for FMTW in Scotland chat – JU
  • Invite scottish freelancers to FMTW in Scotland chat – SH
  • Share current Unlock anti-racism commitments – JU
  • Share poll for anti-racism weekly meetings – JU
  • Share document of UBI/support in other countries – MH
  • Create a freelancer briefing (Monthly ‘State of the Industry’) – EJ
  • Bat Signal the Just Giving link and let people know that we are going to send a card on behalf of FMTW, and individually make donations and that anyone is welcome to do so also – JU
  • Send a card to Parker family – VM/HH
  • Fill in Freddies symposium doc with ideas/thought/dreams/etc – ALL
  • Big 12 meeting to be set – Fundraising team
  • Arrange meeting with SOLT / UK Theatre – PC/JU (everyone welcome!)