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West London College Celebrates Living Wage Week With Ealing Council and Ealing Citizens

Speakers at the event, including West London College students, Virendra Sharma MP, Cllrs Mason and Mahfouz, Tom Hewitt from UWL, Head of ESOLAlex Hallawell, ESOL teacher Marie Nekesa and Jose from Citizens UK

Ealing Council, Ealing Citizens and West London College, along with partners, businesses and residents, joined to celebrate Living Wage Week at a special event on Monday (14 November). Over 80 people attended the lively event, including Virendra Sharma MP, council leader Peter Mason and many other Ealing councillors, partners and Living Wage campaigners.

As part of Living Wage Week (14 – 20 Nov) the Ealing Living Wage Celebration event took place at West London College’s, Southall Community College – to encourage local employers to offer the Living Wage, an independently set rate that reflects the real costs of living in London.

Living Wage employers, including Ealing Council and Heathrow Airport, spoke about the benefits of paying and receiving the Living Wage. 

The event was chaired by ESOL students at Southall Community College, who led guests on an entertaining journey of the living wage past, present and future in Ealing using a quiz, as well as their personal contributions and testimonies. Awards were presented at the end of the event for local living wage employers: Heathrow, Ealing Council, Alexanders Removals and Storage, and Berkeley Group.

ESOL teacher Marie Nekesa, Virendra Sharma MP and Assistant Principal Dean Vaughan talking to the West London College 16-18 ESOL students who co-organised the event

Ealing Council leader Peter Mason said: “Following Ealing Council’s commitment to invest £8million over four years in adult social care, we are pleased to announce that we will be adopting the real living wage for homecare workers in Ealing from this week onwards. 

“We’re enormously proud of this uplift, which will make a huge difference to the lives of home care workers in Ealing.”

Left to Right:  Council Leader Peter Mason, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz and West London College Head of ESOL Alex Hallawell

The Living Wage, £11.95 per hour, is a rate based on living costs. It is voluntarily paid by over 11,000 UK employers who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets their everyday needs, rather than the government minimum of £9.50 per hour.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, who also attended the event added: “To those businesses in Ealing that are already paying the Living Wage – we commend you. We know it might not be easy and we thank you for making sure your staff have not just jobs, but decent and well-paid jobs. It was fantastic to gather together at the college event to celebrate Living Wage employers in Ealing”

Alex Hallawell, Head of ESOL at West London College, said: “As a member of Citizens UK, West London College was delighted to work with Ealing Citizens and Ealing Council on the London Living Wage campaign. Several of our students took an active role in leading the event alongside the councillors which is fantastic for their education as well as for developing their self-confidence and public speaking skills.”

The West London College ESOL students who took part in the facilitating the event were: Kumbela Gabriel Mamuan Gana. Awin Rashid, Rajasthan Singh, Hiba Touri, Mumtas Yasin, Sakariye Cali, Anastasiia Kuryliak, Balmit Kukreja, Ahmad Khan. Kishor Suresh Bava, Vishika Dharmendra.

You can watch a short video with excerpts from the Ealing Living Wage Celebration event here:

To find out more about ESOL courses at West London College and to browse and apply, visit

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