The independent UK charity Help Musicians is launching a new helpline aimed at supporting those experiencing bullying and harassment in the UK music industry. The service will go live in early March 2022.
A number of musicians have spoken out in recent years to highlight their own personal experiences of bullying and harassment, with the UK Musicians’ Union receiving hundreds of reports to its SafeSpace service.
Help Musicians’ new service will offer ’emotional support, guidance on how to raise and resolve the issues being experienced, and advice on rights and avenues for formal action where issues cannot be resolved by other means’, according to the organisation’s website. The service will be available to those working within the wider music industry as well as to professional musicians.
The helpline will be provided by an independent third-party organisation with a depth of experience running similar services across the UK, and this will ensure full anonymity for all callers. The service will work alongside the MU’s SafeSpace service which remains open.
James Ainscough, Help Musicians’ Chief Executive, said, ‘Bullying and harassment is an industry-wide challenge that requires a collaborative response. The creation of the helpline is a vital first step and Help Musicians is well placed to provide this service, as an independent charity. But this is only one part of the solution, and we look forward to seeing industry-wide standards and culture change that eventually leads to our service becoming redundant’.
Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said, ‘This new service is extremely welcome, and we look forward to working alongside the team at Help Musicians in supporting survivors and measuring progress in the industry. We will continue to support and advise anyone working in the music industry who approaches us through our SafeSpace service, and we will not stop campaigning to make workplaces safer for everyone, especially freelancers who often lack formal channels to raise complaints’.