FOR many weeks Thursday became a day for the country to show their appreciation for key workers.

And tonight, people are once again being urged to step out as part of a campaign pressing for care workers to be paid the real living wage.

Unison Bolton has organised a social distancing demonstration on Chorley New Road to raise awareness and support for its campaign at 6.30pm

It will take place close to Beechville Care Home, which pays its employees the real living wage.

The Government's 'national living wage' is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live and the real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by.

Andrea Egan, Bolton Unison Branch Secretary said:"During the covid-19 crisis, care workers have been very much on the front line of confronting the virus with all the transmission risks that this entails.

"Looking after elderly and vulnerable people is an essential and key role. It is absolutely appalling that care workers are some of the lowest paid with many care workers on zero hours contracts.”

“Beechville, which belongs to the Methodist Homes Association, are one of the few homes in Bolton to pay the actual living wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.

"However, the majority of workers in the care sector overall are on minimum wage rates. We are committed to supporting care workers to get better pay and conditions and encourage the Government to make every effort to support employers to pay workers an actual living wage.”

"This demo will be held on the main road and well away from the care home itself. There will be plenty of room along Chorley New Road for people to maintain social distancing measures. People who come along are being asked to keep well apart and wear masks. It is an opportunity for people to support our care workers who absolutely deserve an actual living wage.”

Andrea said Bolton Council has been asked to support the campaign for all care workers to receive the real living wage.

Sam Monaghan, chief excutive of MHA said:" We are proud to pay the real living wage, which we have been doing since 2018.

"Now more than ever we need to demonstrate how we appreciate that work our care staff and pay them the real living wage."