The difference the real Living Wage makes

10 November 2017

Sameea Begum, 25, is a Community Advisor for Aspire & Succeed in Lozells, Birmingham. The organisation has nine employees and became an accredited Living Wage employer two years ago.

"I have lived in Lozells all my life, and I volunteered for a number of community organisations before becoming a community adviser with Aspire & Succeed.

This is the first job I've had that pays the Living Wage and it makes such a difference - it feels good. I am proud of that and always tell my friends that my employer values me. In my previous jobs I was always keeping an eye on how I spent my money, which people should always do but sometimes it just feels good to do the little extra things with friends and family.

With that little bit extra, I can now save for the future. Now I can do more social things plus save – I don’t have to choose between one and the other, it just takes the pressure off. We come from a household where parents are paid below the minimum wage and having to be cautious all the time with money is difficult.

We help so many people in the community, and I believe we should get a fair wage - the wage we deserve. Getting paid the real living wage makes a real difference, you feel wanted and appreciated and it motivates you to do more and become better in what you do. Personally, I would love to see every family we work with earning a just amount as it makes people feel better about themselves.

Knowing you're working for a Living Wage Employer definitely boosts morale and, knowing you are getting paid what you should, makes you want to work even harder."

Sameea Begum


To read more about the Living Wage, click here
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