Star comment: Remarkable couple deserve our thanks

The work of Sheila and Colin Brown has been remarkable. The devoted couple have led from the front at Newlife, which is based in Staffordshire and has a presence in Shropshire.

Colin and Sheila Brown
Colin and Sheila Brown

The ingenuity, determination and kindness that Mr and Mrs Brown has shown is truly inspiring. Their warmth, empathy and support for those who need it most has been a wonder to behold. They have changed lives for the better, providing assistance, care and support to people who would otherwise have been disadvantaged.

Their work at the Newlife warehouse store in Cannock has generated significant revenue to help others. The store has been a bit of a Mecca for people looking for high end fashion at a cheap price.

That has been among projects that the charity has run in order to do fantastic work that has helped thousands.

Newlife’s role in educating others has also been significant. It represents the work of individuals across the country in all kinds of organisations who make a huge difference. Shelia Brown and husband Colin wanted to make a difference when they created their organisation and they have achieved their objective. They can rightly be proud as they reflect on the many lives they have improved.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of Big Society and without it this country would be in a far worse position.

A note of caution is necessary, however, and the danger comes when the State starts to rely on charity and the good of others. We have only to imagine what life would be like for millions, for example, without the network of volunteer foodbanks in the UK. Thankfully, Mr and Mrs Brown are a force for good.

As time goes on we learn more about Covid. Today there is evidence of an increased risk of blood clots for those who have suffered. As always, it is advice we should be aware of but it should not be a cause for panic.

We are learning to live with Covid and, hopefully, that will be so without the need for further restrictions in future. But, like other conditions, we must learn to live with the illness, know how to reduce risk and ensure that we take further vaccines when they become available to us.

Science has put us in a far better position now than the one we faced two years ago, where the mortality rate was significantly higher. There are now far greater chances of avoiding the illness or recovering from it if we get it. Our therapeutic treatments are better and will most likely improve further. Our world class scientists and devoted clinicans deserve thanks.

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