Deano Trickett was educated at Kingstone High School in Hereford, before moving to Birmingham in 2003 to work as a self employed DJ.

Deano has been in the DJ business for 17 years and told us how COVID-19 has affected him.

“I had secured myself a steady income in the form of gigs across regular venues, and had recently started to work on a mobile basis too. Back in early March my mobile DJ business was going from strength to strength and I had no reason to doubt that my work wasn’t secure; it seemed unthinkable that something happening in China was about to push me to the edge of financial ruin. 

The start of the end of my work came in the week leading up to the closure of pubs and clubs. The government initially advised people to stay away from these places which resulted in a significant drop off in footfall across all the venues I work at. With fewer people attending I found most of my work being cancelled. The forced closure of venues came on the Friday night with little notice; I had been getting ready to leave for work when I saw that all pubs and clubs must close immediately. Even at that point, I believed, as i’m sure many others did, as a worst case scenario the closures might last up to 12 weeks and i’d be able to get back to work soon after”

Deano continued.” I realised that the restrictions meant that I couldn’t work as a mobile DJ due to social distancing rules and all the venues I work at were closed. I found myself with no income. The Government grant scheme for self employed people was a welcome announcement but as time went on I found myself needing to return payments to clients who had made bookings with me for events which could no longer go ahead which effectively reduced the money I had to hand to live off. When pubs reopened, entertainment was initially banned and even now the rules have been relaxed there are still restrictions which mean that many venues still aren’t in a position to book a DJ and there’s little work for me” 

With frustration now building, Deano added “We’re now over 22 weeks in since the beginning of the lockdown restrictions and nightclubs still remain closed with no opening date in sight. The uncertainty surrounding nightclubs reopening and the heavy restrictions still in place for pubs mean that, along with the looming threat of local lockdowns, my work is unlikely to return any time soon. I have applied for the final Government grant knowing that it is not going to last long enough, and I now face the very real prospect that unless I can secure alternative work or further support is made available I may be unable to pay my bills and could as a result lose my house”.  

At Your Herefordshire we have been promoting mental health wellbeing , and Deano is struggling “Throughout lockdown I have suffered with my mental health. I have gone from working 6 nights a week to nothing, and was initially unable to visit the gym or even go for a coffee with friends. I felt isolated and angry that I had lost my income through no fault of my own. The lasting financial implications constantly play on my mind and I have struggled to maintain a normal sleeping pattern, suffering with anxiety and mood swings due to the uncertainty of my position. It has been hard to see friends and family around me lose their jobs and not be in any position to help them. What was already a dire situation has been exacerbated by sensationalised articles and the negative spin the media has put on the situation often failing to report on anything positive. It has been a sad reality for me that although I have not lost anyone directly to Covid-19, the circumstances have contributed to several friends taking their own lives. Whilst I understand the need for restrictions I can’t help but wonder whether they will, in time, indirectly result in the loss of more lives than have been taken by the virus”.