AUE Solidarity Fund – small grants for AUE members in need. Find out more & apply here.

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

The Solidarity Fund is Currently Closed

The Solidarity Fund was set up in 2020 to help AUE members in the challenging time of the Pandemic. It was a one-off grant of £100 to assist with living expenses. Each month the Trustees met to deliver a maximum of five awards to AUE members who were experiencing severe need. In the two years that the Solidarity Fund was running, AUE awarded 77 grants of £100 to their members. Currently the Solidarity Fund is closed, but we hope to revisit it in the near future.

Artists’ Union England Solidarity Fund has been created in response to the hardship caused by the Covid-19 crisis and its ongoing implications for artists’ livelihoods.


Under the current Government Self Employment Scheme (SEISS), many people have missed out on receiving any kind of support. Self employed artists have fallen through the gaps in the system because many supplement their work in the arts with PAYE jobs.

AUE recognises that the Covid-19 crisis will affect our working conditions for years to come, a crisis compounded by the previous decade of austerity. We expect to see a large reduction in public facing work as we move forward. This will further compound the existing challenges for our members in a sector where earnings are notoriously low, and working conditions are often precarious. The Livelihoods of Visual Artists study (2018) reported artists earning an annual average income of £16,000; and that 2/3 of artists make less than £5,000 per year from their creative practice. According to our 2016 survey 70% of AUE membership are female, with nearly half acting as carers. Thus many of our members have been disproportionately affected by the additional social care responsibilities during lockdown.

In response, the Solidarity Fund will give a limited number of small grants of £100 to members in hardship.

Download Press Release HERE


Please read the Criteria and Guidance  HERE  before applying. Please note that you need to have been a member of AUE for 3 months before applying.

Please complete the online Application Form HERE and the Equality Monitoring form HERE
For accessibility a word copy of both forms are available on request from
Deadline for Application and Equality Monitoring Forms: 5pm the first Thursday of each month

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The Solidarity Fund is administered by Trustees, a group of AUE members acting in a voluntary capacity.

Trustees:  Katriona Beales

Theresea Easton

Martin Gollan

Joanne Howell

Vanessa Maurice-Williams




Further Reading

Artists’ Union England is an active union and is constantly campaigning, producing resources and signposting opportunites for its members:




Membership Benefits

A membership to Artists’ Union England gets you professional support and access to resources. That means you’ll get:

  • Public and Products Liability (PPL) insurance
  • 30 minutes FREE legal advice
  • Access to resources about artists’ issues
  • FREE training and study opportunities
  • Tax guidance

Your membership means help will be there when you need it and we’ll constantly campaign for artist’s rights.

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Artists’ Union England supports freelance artists based in England. in England.

Membership costs £42 annually – equivalent to £3.50 per month