05 August 2020
Newlife, winners of the Excellence in Retail award at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce's 2020 annual awards, has described the accolade as a testament to the work of dedicated staff and volunteers at the charity.
Newlife, a charity aiding disabled children, was named winner of the coveted award during the Chamber's ceremony which was held online for the first time.
The charity was shortlisted in two categories – Excellence in Responsible Business and Excellence in Retail – and said it was delighted to win the latter award, sponsored by Inspired Energy, after being shortlisted alongside Selfridges and Touchwood.
Harjnder Samra, deputy commercial director at Newlife, said: “We’re all absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Excellence in Retail award by the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, which is testament to the incredible amount of work our dedicated staff and volunteers put in throughout the year.
“It has been a hugely challenging time for the charity in recent months, first adapting to lockdown and largely closing down our retail operation, to recent weeks where staff have been working tirelessly to ensure our stores were Covid-secure and welcoming back our loyal shoppers.
“I’m so proud those efforts have been recognised externally and wish a huge well done to everyone at Newlife for all of their hard work.”
Over the last 30 years, the charity’s commercial operation has built up relationships with more than 240 retailers and manufacturers across the UK and Europe who donate unsold items for Newlife to sell at a reduced price in its network of seven stores to fund the charity’s work.
Donors include Primark, Matalan, Amazon and River Island and the items they donate, which include surplus goods, faulty items and customer returns, would otherwise end up in landfill.
Newlife’s stores include its flagship SuperStore, Home Store and Market Place in Cannock plus regional stores in Yardley, Birmingham, Market Drayton, Shropshire; Heanor, Derbyshire; and Moreton, The Wirral.
Hundreds of families with disabled and terminally ill children around the UK turn to Newlife in desperation each year because they cannot get the specialist equipment they need including wheelchairs, car seats, beds and buggies quickly enough through statutory services, often because of delays with supply or red tape.
Judges were impressed by the unique way in which Newlife raises money to fund the equipment and run its other vital services including a nurse-run helpline.
Chris Plant, Cannock Chase Chamber of Commerce divisional director, said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to Newlife for picking up the Excellence in Retail award at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s annual awards.
“The award is so well-deserved for Newlife, the charity clearly demonstrates how it is able to support families of disabled and terminally ill children via multiple fundraising streams, while offering a service which is hugely popular with consumers.
“Their work is invaluable to the families and children they support, and is an exemplary organisation which aids its community in a multitude of ways.”
Pictured: Some of the Newlife team