FMTW Meeting Minutes 25 March 2022

Chair: Paule Constable

Minutes: Josie Underwood

Present: Paul Carey Jones, Josie Underwood, Alistair Cope, Paule Constable, Andrew Macklin, Athena Stevens, Bill Bankes-Jones, Freddie Crossley

Apologies: Kelsie Acton

Updates and reports

Values Number 3 and 8 were read out, as well as our anti-racism statement.

FST Members Meeting, 29th March

JU: FMTW have been invited to a meeting with the Federation of Scottish Theatre at 2pm on 29th March to chat to their members about FMTW in Scotland and talk about the Big Freelancer Survey.

PC: It would be good for an FMTW who isn’t Scottish to go, as this would help to emphasise that all of FMTW are keen to help in Scotland, not just the Scottish volunteers.

AC: How many people should go?

PC: Chino might be a good person to go, but her capacity isn’t super open. Sunita?

Action points:

  • Call out to see if anyone can attend the FST meeting – JU


Becoming a Charity – AC

AC: Meeting last week with Keith Arrowsmith who does out pro-bono legal bits and help set us up as a company and makes sure everything we do is above board. Had a meeting chatting about the future of FMTW and funding opportunities, and becoming a charity was mentioned. A lot of the funding chats we had with other people mentioned that many funding avenues are greater if we are a charity. It takes a while to become registered, but might be worth doing as it opens us to more legitimacy.

JU: As a charity there are political/lobbying issues that we can come up against.

BBJ: Begs the question of whether we would like FMTW to still exist in 5 years time/is FMTW needed in 5 years time. It would make the board have to become more accountable, which might be good.

PC: We did start to have a conversation about whether FMTW needs to still exist. We should talk to the wider group about this question, and also to keith about whether we might need more admin support in order to do this.

AC: Shall we explore the next steps in what we would need to do in order to become a charity.

PC: Might be that we suggest a 5 year plan to see if this would be something we want/can do.

AC: Shall we approach Jake Orr about becoming 

Poll – Agree to talk to Jake and Keith about becoming a charity

AS: Separate the information gathering from the decision whether we do actually become a charity.

Action points:

  • Talk to Keith Arrowsmith about becoming a charity – AC
  • Research becoming a charity and talk to Jake – JU/AC


Board Member Bios for website – AC:

We don’t list the board on our website, and Keith mentioned that investors etc might want to see on the website as it shows transparency. Suggestion of ‘About the Board’ page. Either a list of names or bios of the board members. Ask the board members?

PC: Board listed and their profession, so show the diversity of professions?

Action points:

  • Ask board members about their names/professions on website – PC


Anti Racism section of website – AC

AC: 95% of the antiracism page on the website has been created by a white man and overlooked by two white women, so would love to have more eyes over it so that we are happy with what we are sharing.

PC: Would it be worth asking someone like Jess Murrain to cast an eye over it? She is no longer a FMTW volunteer, but this is an area of work that she is interested in, and 

BBJ: Should we feedback this to Inc Arts?

AC: Inc Arts are at capacity and they are overwhelmed by request and feedback and they might not have the space to welcome feedback at this point.

BBJ: I keep talking to friends who are being used as specimens, there is continued frustration and upset.

PC: The other person who we have a stong relationship with is Leo Wan, who is on the Inc Arts board. Even the unlocked work is difficult, a lot of the heavy lifting work was being done by Sunita as someone from the Global Majority who can regularly attend.

JU: Do we see if there is anyone who does anti-racism consultancy and pay them?

PC: It is worth the ask in acknowledgement of this problem?

AC: I don’t know Jess to feel comfortable to speak to Jess, as digital co-ordinator.

BBJ: Can PC call Jess and explain the situation.

PC: Not a simple ask, and needs a personal approach.

AC: This is not a definite list, crowd sourced and open to change. I don’t want Jess (or anyone) to go through it and feel they need to fill in all the gaps.

Action points:

  • Call out for all to look at the anti-racism section of website, PC to ask JM directly – All


Newsletter(s) – 

AC: To freelancers, and to industry people. The list is very short this month. New budget doesn’t really help anyone. Don’t want it to be a doom and gloom.

PC: ACE funding conversation and Hope newsletter, both gone out quite close together.

AM: What is the outcome, and what is wanted. A reminder of where we are heading and why. There is a closing of perspective when a problem is focused on.

AC: Andrew has just written the news letter.

AS: Something about pandora’s box? Everything flew out and what was left was hope.

AC: Two newsletters in one week last week, survey and levelling up, both had really high open rates and nice feedback. Both very different in tone and subject. There was a desire for this information. Problems and creativity and positivity.

JU: Blurt foundation send out an email of hope and love every saturday and it is very uplifting, even though I know that it is a similar email every week.

PC: Should the buildings also be getting a hope email?

BBJ: I really enjoyed the conversation format of the newsletter, a good packaging for this information. We need someone to deal with the COLD SPAGHETTI ike Freddie did.

AC: Podcast every month?

JU: Yes, pay an editor.

PC: A newsletter of hope and a newsletter/podcast of conversation.

FC: Newsletter is a hell of a lot easier than a podcast.

AS: A podcast would be a commitment, but it would be doable.

JU: It would be a lot of work, but we shouldn’t shy away from it because it would be hard. Pay people!

AC: This is a fundamental issue of FMTW, we want things to be done but we struggle with capacity. This is what we do, this is how we communicate with freelancers etc. Does there need to be a core team, and every month this is what we do. Can’t do a willy nilly podcast, needs to have a structure.

JU: We have come to the end of the survey/workshops and there is a moment to take a breath and then look at the 

PC: Provocation about hope from AS and AM – write a newsletter about hope as a superpower?

Poll – Newsletter for hope as a superpower – agreement

Action points:

  • AS and AM to write newsletter pieces about hope, and send to JU


Wellbeing offers – yoga, tea breaks – JU/AC

AC: Freelancer Problem Solving sessions are working really well, but need a conversation about Teabreaks as numbers have dwindled to 1 or 2, there is consus that Weds at 11am is not what it was when we were all in lockdown. Parking teabreaks, once a month check in? I:Opera do it, Monobox do coffee mornings.

Yoga was fortnightly, now is monthly and is a bit sporadic.

JU: Once a month for a yoga session doesn’t really work.

AC: Dawn Chorus still happens on the first monday of every month. Numbers have dropped, but the facilitators are happy to continue. FPS have to book on and therefore people commit to it. Feels like there is a shift

AS: We are finally at the point where we need to switch what is urgent to what is important. When you are reactive you get off target and don’t achieve anything.

AC: You go along and take something from it with workshops, Freelancer Problem Solving

AS: Is there a version where you do yoga that isn’t a daily practice, less consistently for a different reason.

AC: Getting people aware is difficult if it is not an event and is not a regular event. I don’t think she will be able to commit to a consistent monthly even etc?

AM: Making a consistent offer, might need a wider pool of volunteers to facilitate.

JU: Fire fighting vs systemic planning


Poll – end Teabreaks and Yoga

AC: With the potential for these to continue in another form in future.

Action points:

  • Contact Tracey-Anne about Yoga sessions – JU
  • Contact teabreaks team – AC


Band 3 Regional Theatres meeting – JU

JU: Need to arrange a meeting with Band 3 Regional Theatres to discuss our funding ask.

PC: Shall we ask to delay until after easter?

Action points:

  • Email Band 3 Regional Theatre to ask that we delay until after easter – JU


Anti-racism meeting with Lena Kaur – JU/PC

PC: Going through the toolkit lead to lot of conversations including one big problem is that Sinitta as our most regular participant from the global majority was doing a lot of the emotional lifting around that. And we were often turning to her for her opinion and that felt exposing and tough and in that brilliant way that Sunita is, she wasn’t going to give up on us. She was thinking it would be great to do some onboarding which is the next thing we need to be doing, and particularly looking for support from the global majority community and in doing that she also thought that work needs to be done in order to make the room systemically less racist. To break that cycle we need more people but we need to do the work. we haven’t got the people to do the work. She invited an actor called Lena who work has done an MA in change and racism, and she has been working in lamda in inclusive practice with the students, and is now going freelance and is interested in rolling out some work for freelancers. It feels like a time where we could/should do concentrated work in empowering freelancers, learning and encouraging ways for their practice to become more inclusive.

Offer – next big funded FMTW project, creating workshops/offer for freelancers to be able to have these conversations and be stronger allies, even when they’re working as self employed individuals. Shifting from reactionary/crisis model management to systemic change.

PCJ: What are the next steps for Inc Arts Unlock?

JU: Lena has offered to do some internal workshops for further FMTW training.

PC: Lena is interested in seeing where we got to with the stumbling blocks in the Inc Arts Unlock

AC: The main group didn’t get through the Unlock programme, but the smaller group did get through the whole programme. The work has been done for the small group and is being done in different ways and different levels. This has bled into our inclusivity work.

PC: It feels really important that everyone engages with this work

JU: We are a unique organisation and catering the toolkit to 

PCJ: today we’ve got anti racism as a point on the agenda and it’s worth bearing in mind that that, as we leave that particular process to one side, we still need to make sure that anti racism points on the agenda have a priority. It still fulfills that very important function.

PC: Continue to work through?

Action points:

  • Inc arts commitments on agenda for friday meetings to continue – JU
  • JU to send our current Unlock commitments to Lena – JU



Josie on Holiday 4-11th April

Al on Holiday 16th-23rd April


Take time off over April from Friday meetings (no friday meeting 8th, 15th or 22nd April)

Bring a friend meeting – moved from 1st April – 6th May

Session with core team, facilitated by Andrew Macklin 1st April, normal Friday times: How best to move forward?



  • Call out to see if anyone can attend the FST meeting – JU
  • Talk to Keith Arrowsmith about becoming a charity – AC
  • Research becoming a charity and talk to Jake – JU/AC
  • Ask board members about their names/professions on website – PC
  • Call out for all to look at the anti-racism section of website, PC to ask JM directly – All
  • AS and AM to write newsletter pieces about hope, and send to JU
  • Email Band 3 Regional Theatre to ask that we delay until after easter – JU
  • Contact Tracey-Anne about Yoga sessions – JU
  • Contact teabreaks team – AC
  • Inc arts commitments on agenda for friday meetings to continue – JU
  • JU to send our current Unlock commitments to Lena – JU
  • AM to talk to JU/AC about facilitator/coaching fee