Entertainment industry offers its skills to 'relieve pressure' on NHS during coronavirus crisis

Tom Beasley
Entertainment industry professionals have offered their services to the NHS. (Credit: Getty)

Freelancers working in the entertainment industry have offered their services to the NHS in helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of entertainment professionals calling themselves People Powered have shared an open letter to the NHS, suggesting they may be able to help in transforming locations into makeshift medical areas.

Read more: BBC to continue Wittertainment during coronavirus pandemic

The group wrote that they are “experienced professionals” who have “skills that could help relieve the pressure for the NHS” if they are called upon.

They said: “We are used to transforming a place used for one purpose into a place that can be used for another purpose.

“We’re used to working calmly and creatively to get the job done. The show must go on, and we can make that happen.”

The group added: “We have the capability to make a difference by using our immense pool of experience and skills to help you.”

Lighting designer Katharine Williams, one of the campaign organisers, told Yahoo Movies UK the entertainment industry is a “huge resource” of untapped talent in this crisis.

She said: “The best thing that people can do at the moment is let their local NHS trust know about the offer.

“We know that our industry has stepped up before to use our skills for good, in the Calais refugee camp and elsewhere.

“We are a huge resource for the NHS to use, if they need us, and we’re standing by to help if called upon.”

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The People Powered campaign has already been acknowledged by political figures including Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who praised the offer of help this week.

She said: “I’ve had offers right across the spectrum of everything you can imagine — people in the entertainment and events industry offering their skills to help if hospitals need to reconfigure their physical base.

“There is so much goodwill out there and we need to harness it.”

An Everyman cinema in London that has closed its doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Edward Dracott/PA Images via Getty Images)

The entertainment industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with cinemas and theatres forced to close their doors in the wake of government advice to avoid unnecessary gatherings.

Major cinema releases, including James Bond adventure No Time to Die and Disney blockbusters Mulan and Black Widow, have been delayed, with some heading to streaming services much earlier than originally planned.

Read more: Arnold Schwarzenegger urges fans to stay at home

Television and film productions have also switched off cameras and abandoned sets, leaving hundreds of freelancers out of work for the duration of the health emergency.