Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children co-founder and CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, has won the 2012 Ernst & Young Midlands region Social Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Sheila, who established the Cannock-based charity 21 years ago and its unique trading company two years later, was presented with her award at a prestigious event at the Hyatt Hotel in Birmingham on Tuesday 19 June.
The awards judges said: “Sheila has a real passion for what she does, is inspiring and authentic. She has continued with a single-minded idea to make disabled children’s lives better and has developed a sustainable model so they are not reliant on Local Authority funding.”
Sheila said: “I was truly honoured and surprised to receive this award from such a prestigious organisation. I would thank all our partners in our social enterprise including corporate supporters, loyal customers and staff for their part in the success of both the trading company and charity. Our daily work makes a difference to the lives of thousands of disabled children.
“Creating and running a social enterprise that generates the majority of the charity’s funding is both challenging and rewarding. Newlife Trading Ltd is owned by the charity and is a not-for-profit company; it exists solely to fund the work of Newlife Foundation in supporting disabled and terminally ill children and their families all across the UK.”
Sheila – who received her OBE in 2001 for services to child health – added: “Last year was a record one in terms of profitability and turnover; it was also a landmark year for the charity because, as a result of the income generated, we were able to launch new services and initiatives to help more children and families. Our vision to support these children and to prevent and treat disability is what drives us every day and I am sure there will be continued expansion by the charity and its trading activity in the year ahead as we announce new projects later this year.”
Pictured: Sheila Brown, OBE, receives her Ernst & Young Midlands region Social Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year award.