The Hatters celebrated Living Wage Week with a lunch for Luton Town staff earlier on this afternoon in the Eric Morecambe Lounge.
The club have been accredited Living Wage employers since December 2014 – the first professional club in England to become one and now only one of seven.
It was also an opportunity to announce that we have recently teamed up with Change Please, who are also a Living Wage employer based in London. Part of this deal means we now purchase coffee beans through them – and they will hopefully be training homeless people in Luton via our local homeless charity Signposts – who we will then provide with matchday opportunities.
Staff were given a talk by Sian Ellis and Daniel Howard from the Living Wage Foundation, highlighting all the fantastic work the foundation does, as well as the improvement in people's lives who work for accredited employers.
When looking at the pros in being a Living Wage employer, it is one of the easiest decisions Luton Town Football Club has ever made.
Ethically, we want to be an inclusive company, and it would it be wrong on a fundamental level to label ourselves as inclusive if staff were being paid an amount that sees them live below the poverty line.
Our work in being an inclusive business within the community doesn't stop there – our partner charities over recent years such as Chums and Level Trust help different people from different backgrounds.
We invested a lot of time during our links with these charities and it proved incredibly fruitful, notably, the money we raised helped Level Trust open up a fantastic uniform exchange shop in the Town centre. We hope to reach the same level of success with Luton Food Bank this year.
Work with our Community Trust means we deliver over 3,500 individual engagements each week, which involves our disability team, after-school Sports Cohesion Programme and our Luton Street League sports skills and employment programme.
First and foremost, the club is run and owned by supporters. One of the first steps we made here was to ensure the Supporters' Trust could vote on changes to the kit and the badge – supporters and communities are always put first here and that reflects in the shirt that the players pull on every Saturday.
You can find out more information about the Living Wage Foundation by clicking here.