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Stronger Together: Meet the Living Wage Employers supporting the Covid-19 frontline

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.

Time and time again our Living Wage Employers tell us that, for them, paying workers a real Living Wage is about respecting people: their lives, their families, the communities they live in. When Covid-19 threatened to overwhelm the nation, members of our movement put those same values into action, supporting the frontlines of the fight against the virus to pull our society back from the brink. 

In December 2019, few people had heard of a novel coronavirus called Covid-19. Since then, the virus has left no life untouched. Twice (or more, depending on where you live) every individual across the nation has been called upon to stay at home to protect frontline services like our NHS and our health and social care sector.

Living Wage Employers have pulled out all the stops to contribute to that effort. They have been raising thousands for NHS Charities Together, supplying PPE to hospitals, care homes and care workers, and – for the employers whose workers are those frontline fighters – doing their utmost to take care of their employees.

Meet the members of our movement who have been supporting the Covid-19 frontline:

BrewDog, Ellon
BrewDog’s work to support the frontline of the pandemic was staggering. They pivoted their in-house distillery from vodka, whisky and gin to 24-hour production of hand sanitiser, eventually supplying the NHS with over half a million bottles. They also offered to support the vaccine rollout, offering the UK and Scottish government their bars as vaccination centres.

Royal Borough of Kingston, London
The Royal Borough of Kingston put supporting the social care sector at the heart of their pandemic response, delivering a £3.2million package to the sector, a £1.1million grant to care providers and free PPE to frontline workers.

Transitional Plus Care, Liverpool
Transitional Plus Care’s fight to pull through the pandemic really is inspiring. Staff worked together to cover for colleagues shielding or self-isolating: administrative staff provided on-site emergency cover; regional managers temporarily moved into accommodation units; and senior managers completed essential repairs when contractors would not visit. Through their collective efforts, they ensured they could continue to provide 24/7 support and accommodation services to children leaving care.

Cockpit Arts, London
In normal times, Cockpit Arts supports artists to achieve creative and commercial success. During the first lockdown, its community of makers turned their hands to supporting the NHS, making PPE for local hospitals and healthcare trusts.

Enabled Living Healthcare, London
Delivered over 38,000 items of PPE to care providers, supported 880 same day hospital discharges to free up hospital beds for the sick and provided deliveries to Covid-positive households.   

Grant Thornton LLP, Newcastle
Professional services network Grant Thornton LLP supported the frontline by raising nearly £14,000 for NHS Charities Together. They also played their part in protecting the NHS through their efforts to support home working, supplying nearly 500 desks, over 1,600 chairs and over 2,100 monitors to employees.

Melody Care, South East England
Frontline carers at Melody Care went above and beyond during the pandemic. The shared the story of Branch Manager Kerry Metcalfe, who made three visits in her own time to reassure and comfort Frances, a vulnerable client admitted to a hospice on VE day with friends and family unable to visit.

Higgidy, Shoreham-by-Sea
Raised £18,750 for NHS Charities Together by donating profits from their newly launched Oven Baked Meals range. The company also delivered meals to local NHS hospitals.

Kingdom Support and Care, Dunfermline
Providing essential care and community support, KSC’s workers were on the frontline of the pandemic. Paying the Living Wage or above, the company maintained full pay for staff absent self-isolating or shielding and offered interest free loans to those suffering financial hardship.

Phoenix Events (East) Ltd, Norwich
With the event-world hit hard by the pandemic, this security firm redeployed their staff as COVID rangers and lateral flow testing staff to support the NHS

BelleVie, Durham
BelleVie topped off the continual support they provided to their frontline home care workers by accrediting as a Living Wage Employer in September 2020. 

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

30th April 2021
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