A 24-hour helpline has been set up to support theatre professionals with any issues affecting their health and wellbeing.

Launched by the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, this free phone and email service offers support and advice on a range of personal and professional topics, including bullying, physical and mental health, finance, careers and retirement issues. It is open to anyone working in theatre, whether in-house or freelance.

The service will run as a pilot for one year and promises to provide a confidential space to share worries and concerns, and callers will be directed to the sources they need to seek professional help if necessary.

Created as a result of SOLT and UK Theatre’s 2017 Theatre Workforce Review which identified a shortage of professionalism, career training and advice options, Theatre Helpline complements work already being done by SOLT and UK Theatre to encourage safe and supportive working practices.

Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, said:

People do have challenges that affect their working lives, and inappropriate behaviour can be found in any area of the industry

“Whether in the rehearsal room, boardroom, front of house or backstage, we hope Theatre Helpline provides a place for theatre professionals to talk through any concerns they have, at any time.”

The service has already been backed by industry bods BECTU who said the service was a “welcome development” in helping to address the concerns raised by BECTU members in the light of the Weinstein scandal.

The number for the Theatre Helpline is 0800 915 4617, and the email address is advice@theatrehelpline.org. For more information, visit the website here.

SOLT and UK Theatre have stressed that this is not a whistleblowing service.