Why fair wages matter

14th March 2024

fair wages

We are seeing a marked increase in the working poor coming to Colchester Foodbank for support. Many of these people work in Care.

There’s one person that stands out in my mind.  I’ll call her Natalie. She is in her late 20s with a preschool aged daughter. She is studying Social Care at Anglian Ruskin University, Chelmsford, where her daughter goes to nursery, lives in social housing in Halstead, and has a work experience placement in Clacton, and to support herself, she works in Care.  She is a domestic violence survivor, raising her daughter alone while her husband is in jail. 

Natalie is working hard to build a better life for her and her daughter, but she can’t make ends meet.  This is one of many stories. 

When you don’t earn enough to pay the bills, it doesn’t just have a financial impact, it impacts your confidence, causes anxiety and stress. It impacts your ability to think at work, your ability to be a good work colleague, a good parent, it impacts everything. And when you go too long, with financial worries, it creates a downward spiral, making it harder to climb back up. 

A fair wage, for a Natalie would mean she could pay her bills, and afford food, to feed her daughter, and maybe put a few pounds into savings each month, which would  build her courage and confidence too, helping her create a positive mindset that makes it possible to build a better life. 

The difference between the two scenarios is a fair wage. 

Do you feel a fair wage is important? Learn more about our community organising work to help Colchester become a Real Living Wage City.

Photo by Jhon David on Unsplash

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