A local success story sees former Great Wyrley High School pupil Stephen Morgan, from Cannock, take on a leading role in national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.
Aged 29, he is believed to be the youngest person in such a leading role, which CEO Mrs Sheila Brown, OBE, says is “well deserved and justified for such an exceptionally talented and committed young man”. Stephen has been promoted to Head of Operations at Newlife.
He has been involved with the charity almost half his life, starting with a weekend job at the Newlife SuperStore in Cannock at the age of 15 and rising to become a Sales Manager by the age of 20.
He said: “I am very grateful to the organisation for my continued development and it is a great credit to Newlife that members of staff continue to be involved from a young age, growing with the charity. Their talent is identified and nurtured, which not only helps the individuals concerned but, of course, ultimately benefits the organisation and so helps thousands of disabled and terminally ill children who are supported by Newlife all across the UK.”
Stephen continued to work on the shop floor – Newlife Trading Ltd exists solely to fund Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – while he studied Medieval and Modern History at University of Birmingham, but left to embark on a subsequent 12-month teacher training course at University of Bath. While in Somerset, he collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. He was forced to abandon the teacher training course and returned to Newlife, initially on a short-term basis, as a research assistant while he waited to rejoin his teacher training course.
Stephen said: “I quickly became involved in the day to day running of the charity and loved it. By the time I had an opportunity to rejoin the course in Bath I realised that my future lay with Newlife. And I have never looked back.”
Newlife supported Stephen in pursuing a three-year part-time degree course in Public and Voluntary Sector Management at Newman University College, Birmingham, for which he received a distinction. This has resulted in him being uniquely experienced and qualified in the new post as Head of Operations.
Sheila Brown added: “He has been working in a managerial role within the charity for the past four years and this promotion will see him leading the day to day running of the charity. He will working closely with myself, our departmental managers and the board to help shape the future of the organisation and ensure the children we serve get the best possible help. Stephen is passionate and committed to the work of the charity and we are proud to have his excellent skills.”
Pictured: Stephen Morgan.