Since 2006, we’ve been working in partnership with Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, donating the returned products to the charity for them to resell or recycle. Newlife provides a range of services to disabled and terminally ill children in the UK, including funding specialist equipment.
In 2011/12 alone, the returned products we donated has helped fund 58 pieces of this equipment, through ‘M&S grants’. This has included manual and powered wheelchairs, walking and sensory aids, specialist beds and car seats, portable hoists and buggies.
NewlifeTwelve-year-old Eleanor Upton from Staffordshire, who has cerebral palsy, is one of the children for whom new equipment has opened up new opportunities. Her powered wheelchair means she has better access to school grounds and sports fields, as well as being able to take part in a wider variety of family activities.
Eleanor says: "The chair is amazing and it will help me get to different places and go on long walks with the dog. Thank you so much, it will make such a difference to my life."
Four-year-old Elliott Barnes has been helped by Newlife as well. His autism spectrum disorder means he has no awareness of danger. Because of his condition he used to free himself from his standard car seat – now, with a new specialist car seat, Elliott and his mother Natalie can travel safely and with confidence.
Sheila Brown OBE, CEO of Newlife Foundation, welcomes the partnership between M&S and Newlife: "This is a fantastic partnership which benefits hundreds of disabled children. It is very encouraging to see the efforts of M&S in improving the lives of disabled children within local communities and across the UK."
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children registered charity no: 1001817 in England and Wales