Pembury-based social care charity Aspens increases wages and staff investment


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A social care charity is set to boost pay levels and investment in its workers in a bid to retain its employees amid a staffing crisis in the sector.

Aspens, which has its head office in Pembury, supports children and adults with autism and learning disabilities across the South East.

Aspens supports children and adults with autism and learning disabilities
Aspens supports children and adults with autism and learning disabilities

The charity says support workers and frontline staff will see wages increased to the level of the living wage, while it plans to up its investment in learning and development for staff by 157%.

From April 2022, all employees over 18 will earn at least £10 per hour and staff based in Bexley will receive a minimum of £11.05 per hour, to include the London weighting allowance. It represents an 11% uplift for some of the charity’s lowest paid staff.

Jo Gouldthorpe, director of HR at Aspens, said: “Having listened to our staff we’ve taken the decision to boost wages and significantly increase our investment in learning and development to ensure we can provide real and sustainable careers for many years to come.

"This has been an especially difficult time for frontline staff who provide exceptional round the clock support to the people we care for. We value staff wellbeing and are delighted to announce that from next spring we will be able to offer a real living wage to our employees, alongside the wide range of staff benefits and increased support we already offer.

"Recruitment and retention of staff is a key priority for us.”

The former Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Joy Podbury, re-opening the Aspens charity shop in Paddock Wood last year following the lockdown
The former Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Joy Podbury, re-opening the Aspens charity shop in Paddock Wood last year following the lockdown

Aspens' service include residential care, supported living, community outreach services, specialist family support and an advice helpline.

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