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NEWLIFE CEO AND CO-FOUNDER RETIRES AFTER 30 YEARS OF SERVICE TO DISABLED CHILDREN

More than thirty years after co-founding Newlife the Charity for Disabled children, Sheila Brown OBE has retired as its CEO, along with her husband Colin, director of the charity’s Commercial business.
As a mum to two children with disabilities, Newlife began when Sheila realised how difficult it was for disabled children and their families to receive the help and support they needed and was determined to change this. Newlife has since gone on to change the lives of disabled children and their families across the UK, successfully campaigning to change laws and implement Newlife services that families say they need the most.
Newlife has worked with local and national decision makers, including an important role played in the change to national legislation that ensured tens of thousands of children and young people had the opportunity to get the wheelchairs they needed. This has not only helped the children of today but also the disabled children of tomorrow.
As a result of Sheila’s hard work and vision, Newlife has provided tens of thousands of equipment to disabled children and their families and answered hundreds of thousands of calls from families across the UK. Newlife has offered unique and essential services to both disabled and terminally ill children in emergency situations and also to enhance their quality of life.
Newlife has funded millions of pounds of medical research which will have an immeasurable and enduring impact for young lives worldwide, improving understanding, prevention and care.
Newlife raises vital funds for its charity services by working with over 300 leading retailers and manufacturers across the UK and Europe who donate items that would otherwise be destined for landfill, mainly customer returns, faulty items or end of line products. Through this commercial enterprise we honour the energy resources that went into the creation of items and recycle them, when they cannot be reasonably re-used. In the last ten years alone our recycling and re-use operation saved the equivalent of 100,000 tons of carbon from our environment.
Over the years, hundreds of adults with disabilities have had opportunities at Newlife through employment or volunteering, giving them the opportunity to develop, learn new skills and build positive relationships in their community.
We are delighted that Sheila will be an ambassador to Newlife for the next two years. However, it will not be easy to replace her as CEO, and the Trustees of Newlife have decided to do so in stages, initially appointing Mr D’Arcy Myers as Interim CEO. He brings with him a great deal of experience in the charity sector, both as interim and full time CEO, and has worked with and helped many outstanding charities.
Clive Lewis, Chairman of Trustees for Newlife said: “Sheila and Colin Brown are local people who have made a huge difference. Sheila always says, ‘the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose’. There can be no doubt that Sheila and Colin are great examples of this.
“Sheila as co-founder with my brother Leonard, started Newlife because of their personal lived experience of caring for family members with a disability and wanting to help others.
“Today, Newlife helps thousands of children with disabilities and their families each year across the UK, a remarkable achievement. But it was started here in Cannock and remains, firmly, a Cannock organisation. Newlife is a major local employer and provides opportunity for many volunteers locally.
“Sheila has been an exceptionally effective CEO since the start and alongside her, Colin has been an equally effective director of the charity’s commercial business. We thank them both for all their hard work and dedication.”

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