PiPA is embarking on an action-research project supporting a cohort of 15 Yorkshire-based performing arts practitioners that face additional barriers to employment to engage in a programme of professional development to support and strengthen their position within the industry.

This unique opportunity is open to Yorkshire-based parents or carers in the performing arts who are freelancers, on short contracts or not currently in work, who are further marginalised due to their ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, other protected characteristic or consider themselves to be from a working class background.

Parents and Carers are a sub-sector of every protected characteristic, and this programme, funded by Arts Council Englad, was developed to address the challenges they face.

PiPA's Covid Report revealed:

  • D/deaf and disabled respondents or those with a long-term health condition are twice as likely to have taken on full-time caring responsibilities (doing 80% or more of the childcare) due to the pandemic.
  • D/deaf and disabled respondents were also least satisfied with Government support, with many not qualifying for SEISS freelance support scheme because they have tended to work fewer hours.
  • Respondents from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely to be doing 90% or more childcare as a result of the pandemic.
  • Solo parents and carers were nearly twice as likely to report feeling overwhelmed
  • The percentage of Black, Asian, Dual Heritage or Ethnically diverse respondents are three times as likely to be doing 90% or more childcare as a result of the pandemic.
  • 72% of parents and carers are considering abandoning their careers in the performing arts.

If urgent systematic change is not implemented, the performing arts industry faces a talent drain which will have a devastating impact on the diversity of the sector.

PiPA’s new action-research pilot Project: ‘Return and Retain’ aims to kickstart this process by supporting a cohort of 15 freelancers through a programme of professional development to support and strengthen their position within the industry.

Professional development opportunities offered within this project may include shadowing, mentoring meetings, access to development programmes, use of space, or skills workshops. This programme will last approximately 6 months, running from January 2022 to August 2022. There will be a minimum of 3 days commitment for full cohort meetings. All other professional development opportunities will be arranged at a time that is suitable for each practitioner.


This research and programme of professional development, will be led by PiPA Programme Manager Eleanor Rands, and will be supported by performing arts organisations, including Sheffield Theatres, Theatre Royal Wakefield, Mind the Gap, Balbir Singh Dance Company, Tutti Frutti Productions and Middle Child Theatre.

Alongside supporting the professional development of the cohort, this project also aims to create industry resources that will increase the social capital of marginalised parent and carer freelancers, and support organisations to employ these groups.

To register your interest in taking part in the programme, please fill out this short form and send a completed Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form (linked below) to recruitment@pipacampaign.com. By registering your interest, you will ensure that you are among the first to receive the full application details when they are published in mid-December.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring Forms

Equality and Diversity Monitoring form. doc
Equality and Diversity Monitoring form LARGE PRINT
Equality and Diversity Monitoring form EPuB