Fylde firm gives £40 bonus to staff amid cost of living crisis

A Fylde coast firm has stepped in to ease the cost of living crisis for staff by boosting their wages.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Tangerine Group has given a £40 a week bonus to lower paid staff to help with the cost of living crisis, a move which has pleased Julie Dillon, left, Patrycja Obolewicz, centre, and Angela Lucas, right
Tangerine Group has given a £40 a week bonus to lower paid staff to help with the cost of living crisis, a move which has pleased Julie Dillon, left, Patrycja Obolewicz, centre, and Angela Lucas, right

Tangerine Group founder David Haythornwaite has pledged to give a weekly energy subsidy of up to £40 to the firm’s hardest hit employees.

From April, employees earning under £25,000 will get £40 a week, and those earning between £25,000 and £34,995, £25 a week.

The move comes as a direct response to rising costs globally and, in particular, gas and electricity bills compounded by the war in the Ukraine. Energy bills have risen by £693 this year, with the average household bill increasing from £1,277 to £1,971 per year.

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David Haythornthwaite of Tangerine Holdings and AFC Fylde

The payment will cover 89 employees, more than half of Tangerine Group employees at the Lytham-based headquarters, where businesses, including VetPlus, operate from.

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David Haythornwaite, who also owns AFC Fylde, said: “When we saw the news about the rise in energy prices, we felt it was important that we took action to directly help those employees who would be hardest hit. There has been a lot in the media about the need for the Government to do something and for those employed in the public sector, I would agree.

"However, in the private sector where we operate, I feel very strongly that this is down to individual employers, such as ourselves to step up to the plate and play our part. As John F Kennedy famously said ‘ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’”

“We are proud of our team at Tangerine — they’re like family and have been hard-working and loyal throughout the pandemic, so we believe it’s only right for the business to support them.”

In a recent letter to employees, David emphasised the success by praising their commitment.

He said: “We have continued to operate throughout Covid without losing a single day, in itself, a remarkable achievement. While others have used Covid as an excuse for not going to work, our teams have stood up and got stuck in.”

In its 25-year history, the family-owned business has increased turnover and profit year on year and has a presence in 42 countries.

However, it has still remained loyal to the area and still manufactures all its products in purpose-built facilities in Lytham.

Angela Lucas, a cleaner who has been with the company for 13 years, said: “The energy subsidy is fantastic. With my son and baby grandson staying with me quite a lot, I need to be able to turn on the heating and use the hot water without worrying about my bills. I couldn’t believe it when I was told about the payments. It’s such a big amount that I was in shock. It’s helping so much.”

Julie Dillon, a mum of two, has worked in the canteen at Tangerine Group’s head offices in Lytham for the past decade.

She said: “When we were given the news that Tangerine was going to support us with an additional energy subsidy, I genuinely got goosebumps. I never expected the company to do it. It’s such a massive help and I’m really grateful.

“Everything has gone up, energy bills, food, petrol. We try our best to keep to a budget but our household has definitely felt the impact. There’s not much left at the end of the month to put away and save or spend on doing something nice with the kids."

Patrycja Obolewicz, a production supervisor has been with the company for 17 months. She said: “It’s been tough recently with energy bills increasing almost overnight and the cost of everything going up. I had to get rid of my car recently as fuel had become unaffordable.

“I, and I know everyone who works with me, really appreciates this extra payment. It means we don’t need to worry about unexpected bills or affording the weekly shop.

“We didn’t expect it at all but it’s a real relief that our company has stepped in to help. We’ve been told that, if we are struggling, there will be someone here who will listen and try to support. I think that’s brilliant from an employer.”