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Stronger Together: Meet the Living Wage Employers supporting those in need

Our annual Champion Awards ceremony on June 16th will celebrate and recognise the outstanding contributions individuals and organisations have made to the Living Wage movement. This year, to recognise the contribution of Living Wage Employers in the fight against Covid-19, we have introduced a new “Covid-19 Stronger Together” award category. We have been blown away by the inspirational stories of Living Wage Employers who have gone above and beyond to protect and support their communities through the pandemic. We couldn’t wait until June to share these with you, so in the lead up to the ceremony, we’ll be celebrating their efforts every week.

Covid-19 has tested our society to its limits. Not one life has been left untouched by the measures taken to stop the spread of the virus. But it’s no secret that the impact of the pandemic has been distributed unequally. For some, the stay at home order meant facing months trapped indoors with an abusive partner. Others, who were cut off from family and friends after they were asked to shield, found themselves facing difficulties accessing food and medication.

At its core, the Living Wage movement is about valuing people. Living Wage Employers volunteer to pay a higher rate than the government minimum – the only independently calculated rate that covers the cost of living – because they value the people they employ, their families and the communities they live in. So, when the pandemic struck, members of our movement leapt into action to support the people it put most at risk.

Meet the Living Wage Employers supporting those in need during the pandemic.

Connected Health Limited

Connected Health chose to honour the heroism of two of their care assistants – sisters Lauren (24) and Chloe (22) – who put themselves at risk to temporarily move in with their client Laura (27) after she tested positive for Covid-19. The pair moved in with their client to ensure continuity of care and to safeguard their colleagues from potential virus exposure. Both care assistants contracted the disease themselves. At the height of her illness, Laura suffered a seizure brought on by a high temperature and needed emergency medical assistance. Lauren and Chloe both gave first aid while waiting for the ambulance and rapid response vehicle. All three have now fully recovered.

Connected Health said: “They are shining examples of heroes working in the care sector.”

Sharewear Clothing Scheme

Sharewear Clothing Scheme provide donated clothing and bedding, free of charge, to those in need. They provided clothing to nearly 12,000 people during 2020, nearly double the 7,000 people they clothed in 2019!

St Martins

Supporting people who are rough sleeping and/or homeless, the charity teamed up with other local charities to get ‘everybody in’ during the pandemic. 89% of the people St Martins supported during this time are now in secure and permanent accommodation. St Martins also supported and coordinated the delivery of food to people in the local community who needed hot meals and food packages.

FRC Group

On a mission to end furniture poverty, this social enterprise refused to let a global pandemic stop it’s good work. Over the course of the pandemic, FRC Group donated 712 free furniture items to people in need, creating a Social Value of £174,950.

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH)

The mutual housing society doubled the capacity of their Pantries and introduced a home delivery service for anyone shielding. RBH were repeatedly told that people in the community would not have been able to eat if it wasn't for the Pantry.

Halton Housing

Halton Housing supported the 220 residents of their two independent living and three sheltered schemes through their Neighbourhood Support Team. Many residents received letters from their GP to shield. With restrictions on visitors to help stop the spread of the virus, the team made sure that no resident went without food, medication or support.

Make Me A Plan Ltd

Make Me a Plan’s Healthy Habits Academy work with the most vulnerable in our society to help them to achieve their goals. Their students tend to have chaotic lifestyles and live within one of the most deprived areas of Cornwall. When the first lockdown was announced, Male Me a Plan contacted all their Healthy Habits students, present and past to check-in and signpost to organisations that were providing support with shopping, prescriptions, and befriending services.

CSF Services

CSF Services work with local councils in Scotland, providing essential domestic goods and floor coverings to care homes, temporary accommodation, hostels, and the homeless. When the pandemic took hold, they set up 1000's of emergency tenancies, installing cookers, washing machines, carpets, fridges and even beds for tenants who had almost nothing and who otherwise would not have been able to stay home. They have set up over 12,000 homes since March 2020 across Scotland. 

Justice Prince CIC

The work of Justice Prince to support those in need through the pandemic was staggering. They:

  • Raised over £100,000 in aid of the COVID emergency response.
  • Prepared, cooked and delivered 1,500 hot three course meals and 1,200 free food bags between  April-July 2020
  • Supported mothers: living in high-rise flats with no garden; through deteriorating mental health; living in abusive relationships; fleeing domestic violence

Well Grounded Jobs CIC

Social Enterprise Well Grounded has sought new ways to continue delivering training and support services to people that needed it most. They supported trainees with virtual learning, graduates with food packages, and staff with extra focus on wellbeing. They are aiming to on-board three unemployed young people to their team this year

Register to join our online ceremony on 16 June, 6-7.30pm to find out the winners of this category, and many others. 

21st May 2021
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