Care worker campaigns for fair wages after her pay stopped when she fell ill with Covid

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A care worker from Cardiff is campaigning for fair wages for care workers after having to rely on food parcels from charities when she fell seriously ill with Covid last year.

Edel Anabwani was off work for six weeks after contracting the virus and due to being on a zero-hour contract, her pay stopped.

She then began campaigning by protesting at bus-stops, where she met other carers who were in similar situations.

She said: "Anyone on the bus at that time was either going to do care work or NHS or maybe the supermarkets so it was easy to tell just by looking at the uniform, or I could tell they were tired, because these guys were working 24/7 shifts.

"Talking to the carers, I was able to hear how many of them was not able to make ends meet, how many of them could not pay their bills."

Edel has been campaigning at bus stops for a real living wage for carers

Now she's working with Citizens UK to call on the next Welsh government to make sure care workers get a real living wage. 

As part of her role, she has been talking to carers, listening to their issues and seeing how she can empower them and help them through the campaign.

With the information and evidence that she gathered, Citizens Advice were able to set up meetings with politicians and Edel was able to attend to explain her situation.

She said: "I told them, we really need help, because it's not fair on us. Most people who do care work, do it out of passion because the money is not going to get you to work.

"But at the end of the day, your passion is not going to pay your bills. Your passion is not going to get you out of the Covid situation.

She now works for Citizens UK

Looking towards the future, Edel would like to see carers being paid a real living wage and to be "recognised like any other person and to be appreciated like any other worker."

But her main aim is to "see society looking at carers as a future for them."

"Because, when you go to a care home, this person is going to feed you, clothe you, medicate you, laugh with you, give you activities and will make sure that your remaining time is a happy time", she said.

"This can only be achieved if a carer is also compensated and made to have a good self-esteem."

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