Charitable organisations have enjoyed success at the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards, picking up three accolades.

The Living Wage Champion Awards recognise Living Wage employers and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage, and are proudly sponsored by Aviva, KPMG and the City of London.

People’s Health Trust, a charity that works to address the underlying causes of health inequalities, was awarded the Living Wage Friendly Funder Award for the organisation’s work in bringing together supportive funding organisations. The Trust’s work has led to 33 major grant-makers - including Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief to join together under the Friendly Funder scheme, and contribute over £806m in grants to 20,000 charities whose workers are now paid the Living Wage.

Awards were also delivered to Unlimited Potential, a social enterprise based in Salford, dedicated to supporting people to lead happier and healthier lives; and the Haven Wolverhampton, a charitable organisation set up in 1973 to provide services to women and children who have experienced, or are vulnerable to, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and homelessness. Both charities won Industry Leadership awards.

The charity sector has a chronic low pay issue, with 26% of charity workers earning less than the Living Wage, compared to just 21% of the overall national workforce. Last week the Living Wage Foundation published an action plan to encourage Government and charities to do more to tackle low pay. People’s Health Trust, The Haven and Unlimited Potential are a step ahead, showing leadership in championing a real Living Wage throughout the sector.

John Hume, Chief Executive of People’s Health Trust, said:

“We are proud to be recognised for our efforts in working to combat low pay in the charity sector. We know that over a quarter of charity workers are paid below the real Living Wage, with women, part-time workers, young people and people from Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee backgrounds affected the most. We need to be part of the solution and act now. We would like to thank those funders who have stepped up and made sure that through their grants, we are a step closer to addressing chronic low pay in the charity sector.”

Chris Dabbs, Chief Executive of Unlimited Potential, said:

“We’re delighted that once again the city of Salford is being recognised for its commitment to the real Living Wage. The accreditation of the 11 organisations is just another step to our city becoming the country's first fully Living Wage health and social care system by 2021.

“The award is a testament to all of the organisations that have contributed to the progress made on the real Living Wage in Salford. Unlimited Potential will continue to champion the need for all health and social care workplaces to implement the real Living Wage.”

Popinder Kaur, Chief Executive of The Haven Wolverhampton, said:

“The Haven Wolverhampton are delighted to receive the Living Wage Champions Award. As responsible employers, we aim to ensure people receive an industry recognised wage, reflective of ever-increasing living costs. We are committed to preventing poverty, encouraging women into employment, and – importantly - promoting a healthy work-life balance.”

Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

“Congratulations to People’s Health Trust, The Haven and Unlimited Potential on becoming Living Wage Champion award winners. They are organisations that do vital work every day, but by paying the Living Wage, and promoting its wider take-up, they are also are leading the way in placing dignity and respect at the heart of their organisation. Over 4,300 employers have now signed up to the movement, and their leadership is making a profound difference to the lives of families and communities across the UK. The work of People's Health Trust, The Haven and Unlimited Potential in celebrating and championing the Living Wage has been vital to its success.”

One of three winners of the Industry Leadership Award, alongside Penrose Care and The Haven Wolverhampton, Unlimited Potential was commended for its promotion of the real Living Wage. Other shortlisted organisations included Curzon Cinemas and Creature.


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Notes to editors

About People’s Health Trust

People's Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities.

People’s Health Trust is funded by 51 society lotteries that raise money through The Health Lottery.

People living in the poorest neighbourhoods in Britain die, on average, seven years younger than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. What’s more, they will spend 17 years more of their shortened lives with an extra disability and have a lower quality of life. We believe that where people live should not unfairly reduce the length or the quality of their lives.

About Unlimited Potential

Unlimited Potential is a social enterprise that is based in Salford, Greater Manchester. It specialises in social innovation for happiness and health, by working together with local people and communities to create new solutions to social and economic challenges.

About The Haven Wolverhampton

The Haven Wolverhampton supports women and dependent children who are vulnerable to domestic violence, homelessness and abuse.

Set up in 1973, The Haven Wolverhampton is a charitable organisation which provides both practical and emotional support services to women and children who are affected by domestic violence and homelessness. The Haven Wolverhampton is one of the largest refuge providers in the UK.

The Haven Wolverhampton’s vision is for all women and children to live in a society free from oppression, homelessness, violence and abuse, and to promote and uphold human rights.

About the real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £8.75 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.20 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by responsible employers who voluntarily choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum. There are currently over 4,200 accredited employers.

What’s the difference between the real Living Wage and the Government’s national living wage?

In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign - even calling it the ‘national living wage’.

However, the government's 'national living wage' is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. Instead, it is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. Under current forecasts this means a rise to less than £9 per hour by 2020. For under 25s, the minimum wage rates also take into account affordability for employers.

The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. That's why the Living Wage Foundation encourages all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.

About Unlimited Potential

Unlimited Potential is a social enterprise that is based in Salford, Greater Manchester. It specialises in social innovation for happiness and health, by working together with local people and communities to create new solutions to social and economic challenges.

The judges for the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards were:

  • Dr Kaneez Shaid MBE, Campaigner and Chair of the Citizens UK Board of Trustees
  • Rosie Gillham, Living Wage employee and campaigner
  • Yvonne Roberts, freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster, The Observer
  • Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at British Chambers of Commerce
  • Matt Sparkes, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Linklaters LLP
  • Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation