Campaigners have welcomed commitments from two employers to pay their staff the London Living Wage, increasing the number of businesses in Waltham Forest to offer the £10.20 hourly rate.

Froth and Rind, a cheese and craft beer shop in Walthamstow’s Orford Road, and The Federation of Church Hill and Low Hall Nursery Schools in Walthamstow will join 15 other Living Wage employers in the borough.

It follows a campaign by Waltham Forest Citizens, which is made up of faith and education organisations, churches, mosques, schools and colleges, to create a ‘Living Wage Zone’ in the borough.

According to charity Trust for London, Waltham Forest has the highest percentage of jobs paying below the Living Wage anywhere in the capital, at 37 per cent.

Sue Peacham, member of the governing body of Church Hill and Low Hall Nursery Schools, said: “We have always valued and recognised that the quality of our provision is only achieved and maintained through the dedication of our staff day after day.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

“As a positive demonstration of our appreciation, it is therefore completely appropriate to ensure that all members of staff are paid the Living Wage and above, despite the implications on our diminishing school budgets.”

To celebrate the announcement, 40 people took part in a walking tour of businesses in Walthamstow on Friday, September 28.

Congregants from the Parish of Walthamstow, which is made up of St Mary's, St Gabriel's and St Luke's churches, joined the group on the walk, holding posters.

The parish is an accredited London Living Wage employer, something which Rev Vanessa Conant believes will have “positive implications for wider society.

Rev Conant, rector of the parish, said: “As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to pursue justice, mercy and peace and we want to work to ensure that all people can live life to the full.”

She added: “There are people in our own congregations who don't earn the Living Wage and it can be enormously stressful and exhausting.

“Paying the London Living Wage means that people have more time to spend with their families, that they are able to save for unexpected costs and that they aren't constantly anxious about how they will afford the next bill.

“This feels like good news for our church and for our community.”

Recent research from the Living Wage Foundation and the Smith Institute found that if a quarter of low-paid workers were lifted onto a Living Wage of £10.20 in London, and £8.75 in the rest of the UK, in ten city regions, there would be enormous benefits.

These include the Treasury benefitting from £350m in increased tax receipt spending and benefit savings and more than half a million workers securing an annual pay rise of £1,700.

In May 2017, Waltham Forest Council became a Living Wage employer.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We congratulate Waltham Forest Citizens on the success of this campaign, and the contribution Citizens UK have made to securing fair pay for people up and down the country.”