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Let's Grow Preston Celebrates Commitment to Real Living Wage

17 March 2023

Let's Grow Preston has today been accredited as a Living Wage Employer.

Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Let's Grow Preston receive an hourly rate of at least £10.90 (the living wage), significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £9.50 per hour.

Let's Grow Preston is a community-based charity that promotes physical and mental well-being through volunteering in horticulture and develops community environmental projects and activities. They are based in the North West, a region with nearly a fifth of all jobs (18.4%) paying less than the real Living Wage - around 534,000 jobs. Despite this, Let's Grow Preston has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day's pay for a hard day's work.

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to almost 400,000 people and put over £2 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.

Development Director, Annie Wynn Let's Grow Preston said:

"We're super proud to announce that we're now an accredited Living Wage employer. This means that as a charity we've made the conscious decision to ensure that all our employees are paid a fair day's wage. Paying the real Living Wage is the right thing to do as a responsible employer to ensure our staff know how much we value them".

Cllr Freddie Bailey, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building said:

"We welcome this move from Let's Grow Preston as we continue strive to make Preston a Real Living Wage City. 24 Preston employers are now accredited to the Real Living Wage scheme and we encourage more Preston businesses to consider doing the same as it strengthens employee wellbeing, and ensures that employees have enough in their pay packets to meet their everyday needs."

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said:

"We're delighted that Let's Grow Preston has joined the movement of almost 11,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.

"They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Let's Grow Preston, believe that a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay."

Further information

Tracey Spensley, Communications and Logistics Manager, Let's Grow Preston. Telephone: 07535 836281

Nicole Billington, Head of Policy and External Relations, Preston City Council. Telephone: 01772 906349

About the 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 £10.90 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £11.95 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. The Living Wage Foundation receives guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; People's Health Trust; and Queen Mary University of London.

What about the Government's national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory 'national living wage'. It was introduced in April 2016, originally applying for all workers over the age of 25, is currently £9.50 an hour and applies for workers over the age of 23. The rate is different to the Living Wage rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rates are calculated according to the cost of living in London and the UK.

Community Wealth Building Preston

Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.

Let's Grow Preston

Established in 2011, LGP has been the driving force behind providing volunteering opportunities for mental health sufferers and for local people who want to get involved in community gardens.  LGP has a dedicated team that run four community gardens (Ashton Park Walled Garden, Waverley Park, The Hub on Grange Park and Grange Community Garden). In addition, LGP runs workshops as well as providing horticultural community support. LGP has positive links with local schools and provides children and communities with opportunities to learn about the environment, the pivotal role of nature in health and well-being along with practical vegetable-growing skills.