Since 2010 we are proud to have partnered with the Newlife Foundation. The charity specialises in providing support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, directly funding equipment and providing specially trained nurses.
Our stores across Europe donate all their unsold clothing, which is recycled to raise funds for the important work that Newlife does.
Our programme with Newlife is European-wide, and has resulted in almost €3 million in funding for Newlife. Under the scheme, unwanted clothing is collected, sorted and recycled by Newlife, in an environmentally friendly manner.
In 2013, Newlife announced a partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health to fund medical research. The Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre is Europe's only dedicated birth defects centre.
Elizabeth, from Chester, is 13 years old, and has cerebral palsy. This affects all of her limbs, and while she is able to crawl and sit independently, she uses a powered wheelchair for all of her outdoor mobility needs.
However, using a powered wheelchair in the classroom at school is impractical as she is still in primary school and is based in one classroom.
Newlife provided Elizabeth with a lightweight manual wheelchair. This is light enough that she can propel it herself over short distances, giving her a degree of independence. It's also helping to build her strength and stamina and keep her fit.
One of the many children helped by Newlife is 19-year-old Emma English.
Emma has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and learning difficulties as well as visual and hearing problems, and spends most of her day in a wheelchair.
Emma's mum, Helen Lang, turned to Newlife when she urgently needed a specialist comfy chair that would enable her to relax while properly supporting her spine and hips.
Emma had trialled similar seating at school, so Helen knew it was the right piece of equipment for her daughter.
Helen said: "Most people don't realise that disability equipment is hugely expensive - and we have had to find funding for many of the items that Emma needs - so the support from Newlife is really appreciated."
For the first time, researchers at the Newlife Research centre have shown that it is possible to turn stems cells into living cartilage. Research has shown it is possible to grow and transplant body parts such as ears and noses. It is hoped that this pioneering procedure will offer a more reliable and far less painful way of re-building the facial features of children affected by disfiguring conditions or injury.
Dr Patrizia Ferretti said: "The end goal is to decrease the amount of painful and invasive surgery for children. The application for this research includes children with birth defects and those, for instance, who have been disfigured by dog bites. There has been a multi-disciplinary approach to the research and the support of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has been very important to the outcome."
Sheila Brown OBE is a co-founder of the charity, which was established 22 years ago and Newlife's Chief Executive Officer. She was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to child health.
"The recycling partnership between Newlife and Primark directly benefits disabled and terminally ill children in the UK through the provision of specialist equipment."
"Additionally, the involvement of Primark in Europe plays a key role in supporting Newlife's medical research programme which is helping to advance worldwide knowledge, develop new ways of preventing birth defects, and pioneer treatments.
We are delighted that Primark is playing such a key recycling role that will further protect our environment and will also help improve the health and welfare of our precious children".
Primark will continue to support the growth and development of Newlife in countries where it has retail operations. Further information on the important work that Newlife does can be found on the Newlife website.