Asda praised for launching £1 cafe meal deal for over 60s to help with cost of living Emily Sergeant
With the cost of living crisis continuing to make its impact felt nationwide, and inflation now at a 40-year record high of 10.1%, one of the UK’s largest supermarket retailers has announced a range of new ‘winter warmer’ initiatives to support its customers and community groups who are struggling with the rising costs.
The supermarket is offering all over 60s the chance to enjoy soup, a roll, and unlimited tea and coffees for just £1 in any of its 205 cafes.
The offer will be running all day and every day throughout November and December.
Asda says it is “stepping up its support for older customers” as they continue to be “disproportionately affected” by spiralling living costs – with the supermarket’s latest Income Tracker showing those aged 65 to 74 experienced a £163 drop in disposable income in August, compared to last year.
Age UK also estimates that 2.8 million older households will still be living in fuel poverty this winter, despite the Government freezing the energy price cap.
The new £1 meal deal initiative for over 60s will also run alongside the supermarket’s current ‘kids eat for £1’ offer – which the retailer says continues to be hugely popular.
More than 557,000 meals have been served to families following the launch in late June 2022.
“We know that this winter is set to be incredibly hard for thousands of pensioners as they worry about how to keep themselves warm in the face of rising living costs and a fixed income,” Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said on the launch of the meal deal initiative.
“We’ve already been able to serve over half a million meals through our Kids Eat for £1 initiative in our cafes and we’re hoping our new offer of soup and hot drinks for over 60s will prove just as impactful for those who need it most.”
- Asda to rollout ‘Smart Price’ value range to all UK stores
- Real living wage raised by record 10% to help workers through cost of living crisis
- The cost of living crisis is apparently making people have less Sunday roasts
Other initiatives announced by Asda during economic uncertainty include the supermarket’s charity, the Asda Foundation, providing funding worth £500,000 in the form of grants to support community groups that are struggling with rising operating costs or increased demand for their vital services.
Priority for grants of up to £2,000 will be given to groups and charities that need financial help to cover increased energy costs, or to those who want to use their facilities to create ‘warm banks’ – which are spaces where people can keep warm this winter if they are unable to afford to heat their homes.
The supermarket is also running a ‘Community Cuppa’ campaign in its cafes.
This will be done by creating spaces for community groups who “may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs”, with spaces available on weekdays in November and December from 2pm – 6pm and all those visiting receiving unlimited free tea or coffee.
Featured Image – ASDA
Nurses across the UK say ‘enough is enough’ as they begin vote on strike action over pay Emily Sergeant
Hundreds of thousands of NHS nurses nationwide have now begun casting their votes on whether to strike over pay.
This is the first ever UK-wide ballot by the history of the nursing industry’s largest union.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has this week asked 300,000 nurses if they want to begin a campaign for industrial action for the first time in its 106-year history – with the union urging its members to vote in favour of striking, and the union’s general secretary calling this a “once-in-a-generation chance” to make real change.
The vote comes amid warnings that nurses are leaving the profession in record numbers, and are unhappy with working conditions, staff shortages, and ultimately, pay.
The RCN said new analysis by London Economics found that pay for nurses has declined at twice the rate of the private sector in the last decade.
Their real-terms earnings are said to have fallen by 6%.
The RCN wants nurses to be given a pay rise in line with the rate of inflation – which is currently at a 40-year record high of 10.1%.
“Across the board, it’s unacceptable,” the RCN said on the opening of the ballot.
“We’re campaigning for a pay rise of 5% above inflation to overcome a decade of real-terms pay cuts, support nursing staff through the cost-of-living crisis, and recognise their safety critical skills [as] only by paying nursing staff fairly will we be able to retain existing and recruit new nursing staff to the safety critical roles they do.”
The union is urging its members, including those across Greater Manchester, to “make your mark on history” by voting for strike action.
RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said the nation’s nurses are “understaffed, undervalued, and underpaid”.
Calling on members to cast their votes, Ms Cullen said: “For years, our profession has been pushed to the edge, and now patient safety is paying the price.
“We can’t stand by and watch our colleagues and patients suffer anymore.
“Though strike action is a last resort, it is a powerful tool for change, and we must demand that change. Enough is enough.
“I urge you to vote ‘yes’ in this ballot.”
- UK doctors demand 30% pay rise over next five years and threaten strike action
- Royal Mail bosses vote ‘overwhelmingly’ to strike over job cuts and working conditions
- Mancs urged to get COVID boosters and flu jabs to avoid a potential ‘twindemic’
She continued: “This is a once in a generation chance to improve your pay and combat the staff shortages that put patients at risk. Governments have repeatedly neglected the NHS and the value of nursing. We can change this if together we say ‘enough is enough’.
“Record numbers are feeling no alternative but to quit and patients pay a heavy price. We are doing this for them too. I have spoken with hundreds of you directly in recent weeks – it’s clear we need urgent change.
“Nursing is the best job in the world. Protect it with your vote.”
Featured Image – UKHSA