Global’s Make Some Noise!

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We are so delighted to have been selected as one of this year’s beneficiaries of Global’s Make Some Noise – Small Steps is one of over 30 charities they will be supporting across the UK. Global’s Make Some Noise is the official charity of Global, the media and entertainment group. The charity unites some of the UK’s best-loved radio stations – Heart, Capital, LBC, Classic FM, Smooth, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold – to raise money and give a voice to small projects across the UK, supporting youngsters and their families living with illness, disability or lack of opportunity.  They also run some masterclasses covering marketing, media and digital skills to help with building sustainability.

Emma Bradley, director of Global’s Make Some Noise, said: “Global’s Make Some Noise is all about shining the spotlight on small charities across the UK. They can often get overlooked, but we’re in the fantastic position to be able to raise money and awareness about their brilliant work through Global’s much-loved brands. We’re thrilled to be able to support Small Steps and look forward to making lots of noise for them this year.”

3 peaks in 3 countries in 24 hours

Thanks so much to Sam, who took on the 3 Peaks Challenge for Small Steps. He’s climbed 3 mountains in 3 different countries in just 24 hours… raising over £600 for Small Steps.  What an achievement!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-phelan1

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The British London 10k!

We are so proud of our 12 Small Steps runners who took on the Virgin Active British London 10k on Sunday 9th July!  It was a beautiful sunny morning (if a little hot!) and a great atmosphere.  A number of friends and families joined Small Steps staff to cheer our runners on.  We’re very grateful to Lindsay, Rachel, John, Alan, Freddy, Suzy, Ben, Richard, Petar, Bojan, Daniel and Maria for taking on this challenge for Small Steps!  Between them they have managed to raise over £8,870, with more expected to come in.  This money will help us to support ten children to attend weekly sessions for a term, which is phenomenal!

Here are a few photos of the day…

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Marshgate Mountaineers!

On 15th July a group of 37 very brave Year 5 kids and their slightly terrified parents will be attempting to climb to the top of Mount Snowdon via the most challenging Watkins Path. The ‘Marshgate Mountaineers’ are attempting this huge feat to raise money for both their school and for Small Steps.  Please donate on their fundraising page to show your support!  Thank you.

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Anyone for Tennis?

We are delighted that Sheen Lawn Tennis and Squash Club (SW14) are organising a fun, mixed ability tennis tournament on Saturday 22nd July, with all proceeds coming to Small Steps.

It promises to be a fun afternoon and we’d love it if some of our Small Steps families and friends wanted to take part.

It costs £10 to enter and this will include a tasty BBQ. The organisers will sort out pairings and all of the games.

There will be prizes, cakes and a raffle. Feel free to bring along your supporters to enjoy the afternoon and share in the BBQ (£5 each).

We ask that you wear something orange to show your support for Small Steps.

Please reserve your places by contacting Caroline here ASAP, as numbers are limited.
The club’s address is
Sheen Lawn Tennis and Squash Club
Parklands Close
East Sheen
London
SW14 7EH

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Summer Party 2017

Small Steps has been chosen as one of the charities to be supported by the Go:LDN Summer Party with chart topping boy-band Union J! The event takes place on 5th July at the Hammersmith Town Hall.  So if you know any 11 to 15 year olds, who like their music, spread the word. Tickets available now at http://www.go-ldn.com

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The Small Steps May Ball

CaptureWe had a fantastic night at the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club for the Small Steps May Ball.  The iconic film Casablanca was our inspiration this time. Guests enjoyed a Moroccan inspired menu and live music from the most famous of ‘gin joints’, “Rick’s Cafe Americain’

The evening kicked off with champagne cocktails, then a three course meal, live entertainment, raffle, gaming tables, charity auction, and guests then boogied the rest of the night away on the dance floor.   We raised over £22,000 for Small Steps which is absolutely fantastic.  Thank you to everyone who attended and donated prizes for the auction and raffle. 

 

Kew Midsummer Fete

We had a great time at this year’s Kew Midsummer Fete.   We raised some valuable funds for Small Steps, sold some delicious cakes, saw lots of Small Steps families and friends and had a lot of fun!   Thank you to everyone who baked for us and who came to help man the stall on the day.  We couldn’t do it without you!

KewFete

We’re recruiting!

We are seeking to appoint a Practitioner Team Member (paediatric physiotherapist) to join a small, well established, multi-disciplinary Team that includes paediatric physiotherapists and conductor teachers.

To work 22.5 hours per week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday inclusive) Term Time only plus 3 weeks with pre-school disabled children and their parents, using the principles of Conductive Education.

This is a permanent position – subject to DBS checks and successful completion of a 3 month and 6 month probation period.
The successful candidate will be an experienced practitioner including some paediatric / SEND experience and will be an energetic, enthusiastic, holistic individual with good communication and interpersonal skills. Small Steps will provide in-house training opportunities and encourages Continuing Professional Development.

Salary: £25,000 to £30,000 pa dependent on experience (Pro-rata for 42 weeks per year and part-time hours - actual salary £13,730 to £16,477)

For further details including a job-description, person specification and application form and / or to arrange an informal visit, contact Nicola Thackeray on 020 8704 5935 or by email here

Closing date for applications: Friday 14th July 2017
Interviews: tbc – possibly w/c 17th July 2017

Small Steps is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and expects all staff to share this commitment. Appropriate Safeguarding and DBS Screening applies to this post. We are an equal opportunities employer.

Over £700 raised at this year’s Richmond May Fair!

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We had a fantastic day at the Richmond May Fair on Saturday 13th May. Building on the success of previous years, we decided to host another homemade cake stall. The primary focus of the day is always to raise awareness in the local community about Small Steps, to sell lots of cakes and raise some money for the charity. Last year we raised over £660 for Small Steps and we’re delighted to say we smashed that amount by raising over £700 this year! It was a fun family-friendly day and a great opportunity for Small Steps families and friends to pop by and say hello too.

Job Vacancy

Charity Support Assistant

Closing Date for Return of Application Forms: Friday 12th May 2017

This new post will provide support to the Small Steps office team, developing and maintaining efficient administrative systems for the Charity. The successful candidate will have previous administrative experience with excellent communication skills and a friendly and efficient manner. A good knowledge of Microsoft Office is essential, along with the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

The ideal candidate will be able to show sensitivity and empathy when dealing with families who have a young disabled child.

The hours of work will be 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, with half an hour for lunch, term time plus 3 weeks (42 weeks per year) The successful candidate will also be expected to attend some evening and weekend events as required. The starting salary for this post will be £17,000

This post is also subject to an Advanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service along with usual references.

Download a job description and person specification here: Letter to applicants, job description and person spec

Download an application form here: Job application form

Please note uploading a CV is optional but does not replace completing the application form and if you choose only to submit a CV your application will not be considered.

Small Steps is an Equal Opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates. Small Steps is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Small Steps team complete the London Winter Walk!

wwbanner We’re very proud that the Small Steps Staff Team, together with some parents, families and friends completed the 20km London Winter Walk on Sunday 15th January and raised over £7,000!  The weather was very wet and cold, but we braved the elements to complete the course in just over 4 hours.

Small Steps benefit from the 2016 White Thistle Ball

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Small Steps were delighted to be one of the chosen charities to benefit from The White Thistle Ball which was held at The Hammersmith Town Hall on December 15th. The annual ball is for young people 11-14 years of age and this year all profits from the event went to just 2 chosen children’s charities, of which Small Steps is one.  This was the 5th consecutive year that the White Thistle Ball organisers have supported Small Steps and we are hugely grateful to them.

http://www.whitethistleball.com/

Fay completed the Tonbridge Half Marathon for Small Steps!

A big congratulations and thank you to Fay, nanny to Small Stepper Fintan, who successfully completed the Tonbridge Half Marathon to raise funds for Small Steps on 6th October!  Fay explains why…

“As some of you may know I work as a special needs Nanny now for a wonderful family, The Bain family! The past year has been one of the best working years of my life and I owe much of this to them.

I look after their two amazing boys Cillian and Fintan. Fintan has an undiagnosed genetic condition and needs all round care. He is a very cheeky and delightful little boy and I have the honour and privilege of caring for him and being part of his wellbeing and development as he grows and develops.

Fintan and I every week attend this amazing group called Small Steps. The staff are some of the best people I have met who work within the special needs sector. They help, support and educate so many families and carers to provide children with additional special needs with the best early years start they can have. Attending small steps is one of the highlights of Fintan’s week and I am so lucky to attend with him. All what Small Steps provides is invaluable and its totally free!

So to help give just a little something back to them so they continue their fantastic work with many families and children I am attempting to do my first half marathon in Tonbridge and I will be thinking of Small Steps every step of the way to help me cross the finish line!

So please donate what you can to this fantastic charity!  With much heartfelt thanks and warmest wishes, Fay xx”

A huge thank you to Fay for her support!

London to Brighton for Small Steps!

Congratulations and a big thank you to Matthew (Daddy to Small Stepper Fintan) and his friends Paul and Per who successfully cycled from London to Brighton with his friends Paul and Per, and raised over £1,550 for Small Steps with more to come! We’re so grateful to you all for your support.

 

Two Marathons in two days for Small Steps!

capture2We’re so grateful and full of admiration for Charlotte, who did the Saharan Challenge in October to raise funds for Small Steps. Charlotte Trekked 2 tough Marathons over 2 days through some stunning Moroccan landscape.   Charlotte has raised £1,521.75 to date, with more coming in.  Thanks so much Charlotte!

Essensys ‘Tough Mudder’ Challenge for Charity

Many congratulations and thank you to the Essensys London team who took on the grueling ‘Tough Mudder’ challenge on 25 September, raising over £7,500 for Small Steps in the process! A fantastic achievement we’re sure you’ll agree.  They explain more about why they took on this challenge here…

We at Essensys are supporting Small Steps who do amazing work with disabled children. We became aware of Small Steps through Tim in finance. His daughter Alice attended their sessions a few years ago. We at Essensys were keen to do a challenge for a charity. We chose Tough Mudder as we are tough and like team work. We are training every week on Wednesdays in Regents Park for this event! The work of Small Steps is truly inspirational and we would be extremely grateful for your support for this very worthy cause.”

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Ellie, Tom, Cecily and Jess completed the Ealing Half Marathon!

Many congratulations and a massive thank you to Ellie, Tom, Cecily and Jess who ran the Ealing Half Marathon CIC yesterday in just 1 hour and 50 minutes! And to cap that they’ve raised over £1,300 for Small Steps! Well done guys!

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Woburn Triathlon for Small Steps!

A big thank you to Aveen, (family friend of Small Stepper Patrick) who ran the recent Woburn Abbey Triathlon for Small Steps raising over £760!!

250 mile ride in 3 days

Huge congratulations and thanks to Calum (Dad to Small Stepper Callia) and 30 friends and family members for succesfully completing the 250 mile Angel to Angel cycle ride and raising over £9,000 for Small Steps (£27,500 in total… and counting)! The event took place from the Angel Inn just outside Peterborough to the Angel of the North in Gateshead.   The team are still raising money on the their fundraising page for their 3 chosen charities, Small Steps, Portage and Assert. So please show your support for all the guys by making a donation if you can. Thank you! http://www.sponsorme.co.uk/calumbarker/angel-2-angel.aspx

Linda’s Great South Run for Small Steps

capture2So grateful to Linda (friend of one of our Small Steps Trustees), who has chosen to do the Great South Run in October and raise funds for Small Steps!

She explains why… Guys I need your help. I am doing the great south run next month and I need your sponsorship. It is important, I was lucky I had 3 gorgeous healthy babies but not everyone does, I cant imagine what I would have done, how I would have coped, but a charity called Small Steps is there to help not just the babies but the Mums as well. They do such a brilliant job I couldn’t do what they do, Please sponsor me, I am running 10 Miles that’s a long long way so that’s gotta be worth something!!!!”

Please help support Small Steps by donating on Linda’s Just Giving Page:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LindaJFreeman  Thank you!

Amrop UK climb 15 mountains in 24 hours!

On 15 July, Amrop UK (formerly The Mulsanne Partnership) successfully completed the Welsh 3000’s 24hr challenge for Small Steps.

This was no walk in the park and involved climbing the 15 mountains above 3000 feet within the Snowdonia National park, and covering around 30 miles of mountain.  
The Welsh 3000 is one of the toughest mountain challenges in the UK and requires fitness, determination and resilience and to achieve this feat each of them will be pushed both physically and mentally.   We’re hugely grateful to the team for taking on such a difficult challenge and raising so much for Small Steps.

They set up a JustGiving page to collect sponsorship for their challenge: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AmropUK.  So please do sponsor them if you can, it’s not too late!  Thank you for all your support!

100 miles for Small Steps!

WilliamOn the 31st July William’s Dad Neil took part in the Prudential Ride London, a 100 mile cycle race following the Olympic 2012 route and has raised over £6,000 for Small Steps! We’re hugely grateful to Neil for choosing to raise funds for Small Steps.  Neil explains why:

I am cycling the event to raise funds for Small Steps, a charity very close to my heart. At just over 2 weeks old, our son William contracted a virus and subsequently suffered a stroke. This left him with a weakness on one side of his body known as Hemiplegia – a mild form of cerebral palsy. Weekly sessions at Small Steps have played a major part in his on-going rehabilitation as well as giving huge emotional support to us as a family.  They receive no statutory funding and are solely dependent on charitable grants, fundraising and donations, so no matter what the amount, every little bit will make a big difference! Their work is truly inspirational and I would be extremely grateful for your support for this very worthy cause. Please dig deep and help Small Steps continue their amazing work enhancing the lives of disabled children and their families.

 

Thanks so much.

‘Team Small Steps’ run the British London 10k

We had the most amazing morning supporting our runners at the British London 10k Road Race on 10 July!  It was a fantastic atmosphere with so many people running for so many good causes.

A HUGE thank you and congratulations to our superstar Small Steps runners; Sam, Siobhan, Fay, Linda, John, Bruce, Joanna, Suzy, Coleen, Tania and Susie and to all their families and friends, both for coming along to cheer them on today and for helping us to raise vital funds for Small Steps! A special mention to Vaara, Patrick, Amelia, Joe and Zoe who braved the weather to support their Mums and Dads!

The team have so far raised almost £9,000!  But it’s not too late to donate, you can still sponsor any of our runners online via their fundraising pages listed below.  Please show your support by donating whatever you can.  Thank you!

Siobhan: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Siobh-n-Bain

Sam: http://www.justgiving.com/Vaara

Susie and Coleen: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SusieColsBritish10K

Suzy: https://www.justgiving.com/Sosanna

Tania: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tania-Stace

Joanna: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joanna-Allen8

John and Bruce: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/theStumblers2

Steph does the Colour Run for Small Steps

Thank you to Stephanie did the 5k Colour Run on Sunday 12th June in Wembley to raise funds for Small Steps!  Steph explains more about why she chose Small Steps as her charity… 

“I have chosen to run for Small Steps, a small charity in London who help children with special needs, from birth to 5years. I have had the great pleasure of being involved and seeing the amazing work that Small Steps does to help these children. 

I am a nanny for a wonderful little boy who is a true inspiration. I have been his nanny since he was 18months old and I have seen him overcome many obsticles and prove a lot of people wrong. T has cerebral palsy and if wasn’t for places like small steps, I don’t think we would have seen T achieve so much. 

All the children at Small Steps have cerebral palsy, other forms of motor impairment, syndromes or sensory impairment. They need a great deal of extra stimulation and assistance to help them reach even the most basic milestones. At Small Steps, a teacher, conductor and physiotherapist lead both parent and child through a structured programme designed to help each child achieve individualised developmental steps. 

The work of Small Steps is truly inspirational and I would be extremely grateful for your support for this very worthy cause. Small Steps receives no statutory funding and is solely dependent on charitable grants, fundraising and donations, so no matter what the amount, every little bit will make a big difference! Please help Small Steps continue their amazing work enhancing the lives of disabled children and their families. Thank you!” 

It’s still not too late to donate what you can on Steph’s fundraising page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Stephanie-Grogan.  Thank you.

the colour run

 

Kew Midsummer Fete

We had a fabulous day at Kew Fete selling cakes and raising both funds and awareness of Small Steps! Thanks so much to all who baked and helped out and came to say hello. Couldn’t have done it without you!

Fantastic Fundraiser!

We had a fantastic night at the Small Steps May Ball on the 7th May and raised nearly £21,000 – WOW!!  A total of 150 guests attended the wonderful Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club. Many Small Steps families past and present were able to join us too.  We raised nearly £3,000 through the raffle – thanks to everyone who donated wonderful prizes.  The Silent Auction raised over £9,000 so a big thanks to those who donated a fantastic array of items, those of you who made early bids and helped to raise the total. The framed and signed English Rugby shirt went for a staggering £1700….the unframed Wales shirt went for an amazing £1,100!  The Live Auction raised just over £5,600 in total and £1500 was donated via pledges.  As an extra bonus after the event, £475 was raised by ‘the Highest Bidder’ where offers were made for three raffle prizes that were re-donated A fabulous time was had by all (as you can tell from the pictures)…  and a date is being finalised for next year….watch out for more details!

Richmond May Fair

We had a fantastic day at The Richmond May Fair on Saturday 10th May, with our now legendary cake stall! A massive thank you to one and all for contributing to the success of the Small Steps stall.  We raised just over £660 and had a lovely day meeting lots of friends and supporters. A special thank you to all the parents who helped bake and sell cakes on the stall.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

Steve and Sam take on the Edinburgh Marathon for Small Steps

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Joseph at Small Steps

 We are so grateful to Joseph’s Dad, Steve and his friend Sam, who ran the Edinburgh Marathon on 29 May and raised over £3,300 for Small Steps!  Steve explains why;

As some of you know, our son Joseph had problems at birth. As a result of these problems it was touch and go as to whether or not he would survive, but survive he did. Joe is now nearly two years old and is a bright and generally happy little boy, but for all the laughs and smiles he has to live with the result of the problems at birth and has been diagnosed with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. What does this mean you ask?? Well, it means that Joe does not have full use of any of his limbs, his mobility is severely restricted, his muscles are tightened to the point that they are often cramped, it means Joseph can’t sit up unsupported and at this point in time the prospect of Joe even standing up, never mind walking is a pipe dream.

What we do have though is hope and this hope is brought to us in the form of the charity Small Steps which is based in Roehampton. The charity is ran 100% on donations and receives no government funding. Joseph has been attending Small Steps for four months and whilst his progress is slow, he is making Small Steps that will hopefully lead to his own Giant Strides.

Every penny counts for this wonderful charity and Joseph is benefitting from the goodwill and generosity of donors of children that have gone before him. It would be amazing to be able to provide another family with the same hope for their child as what Jen and I get for Joseph.

If you are able to donate even a few pounds then we would be ever so grateful. Thank you all inadvance x x”

You can still make a donation on Steve’s Just Giving page or Sam’s Just Giving Page by clicking the links.  Thank you.

Highest Bidder Please!

Small Steps has three fantastic raffle prizes that have generously been re-donated to help raise vital funds.

We will accept the offer from the highest bidder.  All prizes have a value above £100.

All bids must be made to tricia@smallsteps.org.uk by Monday 23rd May at Midnight.

1. Stylish Harris Tweed Overnight Bag
Overflowing with his and hers goodies:  Leather manicure set,
leather wallet, hip flask and lots of luxurious toiletries. All your Christmas shopping in one!

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2. Block of 3 Shiatsu Massages 
at the Lavender Practice SW11 and a Jo Malone Candle
www.lavenderpractice.com

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3. Family Portrait
with photographer Annie Armitage.
Value of £225 – Booking now for an ideal Christmas gift.
www.anniearmitage.com

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Remember, highest bids to tricia@smallsteps.org.uk by Monday 23rd at Midnight.

The Small Steps May Ball

After the success of a similar bash, last year, Sarah Jones (Haydn’s Mum) and her fearless group of friends offered to go through it all again, with all the proceeds coming to Small Steps. It was a glamorous affair – the theme for the evening being Vintage Hollywood Glamour and it took place at the very special Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club in Richmond on the 7th May 2016.

The Ball and Auction raised over £20,000 which is fantastic.  Thanks so much to all involved in organising and all those who attended!

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Elizabeth ran the London Marathon for Small Steps!

The 32nd London Marathon

A big thank you to Elizabeth Godfrey who ran the London Marathon and raised over £3000 for Small Steps!!

Elizabeth explains more; “I am running the London Marathon 2016 to raise awareness and funds for a charity called Small Steps. Small Steps helps children with special needs, from birth to 5 years, work on all areas of their development. My niece Lottie has Down’s Syndrome and required the assistance of Small Steps to learn how to walk. Small Steps receive no statutory funding and is solely dependent on charitable donations, so I’d be grateful for your support, please donate what you can to help Small Steps continue their work enhancing the lives of disabled children and their families. Thank you!”  Elizabeth has set up JustGiving page for so please do support her if you can.  Thank you.

Conductive Education Awareness Week

display photosBetween Saturday 12th March and Saturday 19th March, Small Steps are taking part in Conductive Education Awareness Week, helping to raise the profile of Conductive Education across the UK and the many lifelong benefits it brings to the lives of people who have movement disorders.

To mark the occasion we’ve decided to run a little information and cake stall each day in the Small Steps Foyer.  We’ve put up a display all about Conductive Education, and will be selling some little Small Steps promotional items and selling cakes.  We are hoping that this will be a great opportunity to raise some cash for Small Steps, but most importantly, it will help us to celebrate and raise the profile of Conductive Education amongst all our families and visitors.

Conductive Education is a system of learning that has been developed for individuals with motor disorders. Conductive Education is a learning process, not a therapy or treatment and it is fundamental to all we do here Small Steps.  You can read more about Conductive Education at Small Steps here.

Please support our event by bringing a bit of small change to your session on the week commencing 14th March, so you can purchase some of our wares.  Alternatively, if you’re not going to be at Small Steps this week, but would like to contribute, you could make a donation to Small Steps via textgiving, by texting STEP16 and £5 or £10 to 70070.  Thanks in advance for your support.

 

We’re collecting Sainsbury’s Active Kids Vouchers!

Small Steps are once again collecting Active Kids vouchers, which we can exchange for lots of lovely new equipment for the children to use in our sessions.  It’s easy to collect vouchers for Active Kids 2016. Simply shop in Sainsbury’s stores and online at sainsburys.co.uk and you will earn Active Kids vouchers on your shopping.

In Sainsbury’s Locals, you will get one voucher for every £5 you spend. You’ll notice these vouchers are larger than the ones you receive in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and have a photograph on them.

In Sainsbury’s Supermarkets you’ll receive 1 voucher for every £10 you spend. So if you spend £40 you’ll get four vouchers, but what’s new is that they’ll all be printed on one piece of paper. These vouchers are white and smaller in size, with no photograph on them.

Once you’ve collected your vouchers either drop them in (we’d love to see you!) or pop them in the post.  If you’d like to see what kinds of great equipment we can order take a look at the Active Kids Catalogue.

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Credit Punch White Collar Boxing night

On 11th February 2016 a group of brave men from the financial world gathered at the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel to compete in the white collar boxing tournament, “Credit Punch”. This was the fifth annual “Credit Punch” event, from which money raised will be generously donated to Small Steps. We are hugely grateful to Richard O’Dwyer, friend and supporter of Small Steps, who both organises the event and steps into the ring too!

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Fun filled Christmas Party!

We had a great morning at the Small Steps Children’s Christmas Party, when we were joined by Toby and Anna, musicians from the organisation ‘Live Music Now’, who played some lovely music on the flute and guitar for us.  There was also a surprise visit from Santa, who brought gifts for all the children!  It was lovely to socialise with one another and for families who didn’t already know one another, to meet and chat.   We enjoyed some festive food and drink and sang a few Christmas songs too. The morning was rounded off with a Christmas story read by Anita.

Young party-goers raise funds at Christmas

thistleWe are delighted to have been chosen as one of The White Thistle Ball charities for 2015!  The White Thistle Ball, was held at The Hammersmith Town Hall on December 17th.  It is the party of the season for 11-14 year-olds and raises money for 3 deserving children’s charities. On the night party-goers were treated to supper, drinks, slush puppies and desserts as well as loads of fabulous entertainments and an incredible Tombola. Last year Small Steps received a cheque for £16,000 from funds raised at the event!  We’re hugely grateful to the organisers of the White Thistle Ball for choosing Small Steps as one of their 2015 charities!

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AWTE Christmas lunch raises £9000!

We were delighted and very grateful to be the nominated charity supported at this year’s Association of Women Travel Executives Christmas Lunch, which was held at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel on the 1st of December. The AWTE Christmas lunch is a diary must do for those in the travel industry.  All funds raised in the silent and live auctions were donated to Small Steps, which totalled over £9000!  Thanks so much to AWTE for your support and to everyone who both donated prizes and bid on the charity auction.  A special thank you to Jane Stuart-Palikira, mum to Small Steps graduate Sophia, who spoke so beautifully about her experience of Small Steps.  

Team Mulsanne’s Tough Mudder!

A massive thank you to The Mulsanne Partnership who are now officially Tough Mudder legionnaires! This mad bunch were dunked in ice water, climbed over walls, crawled under barbed wire and got electrocuted, all to raise funds for Small Steps!! We’re so grateful to them for raising over £2,900 and counting! 

The Mulsanne Partnership is a proud and passionate supporter of Small Steps and the team there have done many wonderful fundraising challenges over the past few years to raise funds for us.

Thank you Mulsanne for all your support!

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Alex’s Mum runs the Ealing Half Marathon

AlexWe’re really grateful to Sarah, who along with 3 friends ran the Ealing Half Marathon on Sunday 27th September, to raise funds for Small Steps.  Sarah explains why…

“In June 2012 my son, Alex, was unexpectedly born at 24 weeks. From that moment he has shown tremendous strength and determination, firstly to survive and then as time passed in fighting constant battles and reaching milestones. His extremely premature birth has caused him to have cerebral palsy. Due to having cerebral palsy Alex is having difficulty in reaching a major milestone: learning to walk. This is where a charity called Small Steps plays a big part in our lives. They are an amazing team, who provide us with weekly classes and continually give us support and advice to help Alex. They always leave us feeling as if anything is possible. Their aim is to improve the lives of disabled children and their families. So in September, I will be running the Ealing Half Marathon, along with my good friends, Elizabeth, Emma and Yeemay, to raise awareness and funds for Small Steps. We want Small Steps to continue working their magic for other families.”

Patrick’s Mum runs the Wimbledon Park 10k

A big cheer for Patrick’s Mummy, Rós, who organised a team of friends to run the Wimbledon Park 10k on Saturday 19th September.  The guys raised over £1,150 and Rós’ employer Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have very kindly agreed to match funds raised by also donating £1000 which is amazing! Thanks so much to all the runners and Freshfields!

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Rós and friends
Patrick
Patrick at Small Steps

Small Steps 18th birthday party and surprise birthday gift!

We had a fabulous evening celebrating Small Steps 18th Birthday with so many friends, families and colleagues at the Star & Garter in Putney.  The highlight of the evening was a surprise birthday gift from Charlotte Grobien of “Give it Away” who presented Small Steps with a cheque for £75,000!!!! Words cannot express just how grateful we are and what a difference this money will make to the families we support.  Take a look at the gallery below to see some photos of the evening.

‘The Silk Roadies’ drive 7000 miles for Small Steps

On 18th July, John, Steve and Des set off on their latest challenge,  a 7000 mile drive to Tajikistan.

Their goal was to cross high Pamir Mountains via the Pamir Highway from Tajikistan and into Kyrgyzstan. Their trip started in the Tajik capital Dushanbe and quickly left the modern world behind as they made their way along difficult mountain roads and high passes, in the shadow of some of the highest mountains on our planet. The roadway is mostly unpaved and is heavily damaged in places due to earthquakes landslides and avalanches. This route makes up part of the ancient “Silk Road” and is known as the second highest altitude international highway in the world (4,655 m). It is also listed on the dangerousroads.org website.

Unlike previous trips they have done, this one was organised entirely by Steve, John and Des. There was no backup or support along the way.  The guys have been doing some extra fundraising prior to their trip, including an event at the Bricklayers Arms pub in Kingston (Steve’s local) where they brought along the car to raise awareness of their trip.  We’re really grateful to Small Steps friend and fundraiser Zoe, at the Bricklayers for her ongoing support of Small Steps.

‘The Silk Roadies’ have set up the all important JustGiving page where they are gathering sponsorship.  Please do still donate if you can!  We send John, Steve and Des our sincerest thanks for once again, raising money for Small Steps.

Team Small Steps complete the British London 10k

A huge congratulations and thank you to Helena, James, Florence, Joanna, Dean and Colin who donned their Small Steps t-shirts and ran 10k around central London on 12th July to raise money for Small Steps. There was a fantastic atmosphere on the day with tens of thousands of runners and hundreds of supporters cheering along the route.  The event started at Hyde Park Corner and passed London’s most famous landmarks, including St James’s Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.  All our runners set up their own fundraising pages… and it’s not too late to support one of our runners so please donate if you can!  Thank you.

Florence: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FlorenceBance
James and Helena: http://www.justgiving.com/Helena-Marchese
Dean: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DinoCooper
Joanna: http://www.justgiving.com/joanna-Allen6
Colin: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ColinJWoods

Gareth cycles 100 miles for Small Steps

We are very grateful to Gareth Burnard who will be cycling the Prudential Ride London 100 mile race on 2nd August to raise funds for Small Steps. Gareth is gathering sponsorship on his Just Giving page, so please do sponsor him if you can.

Celebrating the legacy for cycling created by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 starts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside. With leg-testing climbs and a route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics, it’s a truly spectacular event for all involved.  We wish Gareth the very best of luck on the day!

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Marie and Alistair’s London Triathlon 2015

Alistair&MarieA big thank you to Marie and Alistair who are taking on the mammoth challenge of doing the London Triathlon this August.  Marie explains more, “After several years of injuries, being unfit and various obstacles, we’re finally plucking up the courage to run swim and cycle for charity. Ali’s useless at sticking with his rehabilitation but with a goal in mind, we want to raise awareness for a fantastic cause – Small Steps. This charity is very close to our hearts for a number of reasons… no matter what the donation, every penny counts so please dig deep and help us and Small Steps continue their amazing work and improving people’s lives.”  Please donate on Marie and Alistair’s Just Giving page.  Thank you!

Kew Midsummer Fete on Kew Green

We had a fabulous day at Kew Fete selling cakes and raising both funds and awareness of Small Steps! Thanks so much to all who baked and helped out and came to say hello. Couldn’t have done it without you!

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One Small Step for Charity

We’re delighted to have been chosen as Danes Hill School’s charity to receive funds raised from their annual sponsored walk.  Scarlett, who is one of our Small Steps graduates, attends Danes Hill School with her sisters Lauren and Sophia, and together they nominated Small Steps as this year’s charity. On the day of the walk, the children walked around Esher Common and were required to bring gardening gloves so they could complete community work on the common before they headed to Garson’s farm to pick strawberries.

Scarlett’s Mum said “It was very hot and sticky but the children really enjoyed themselves and Lauren and Sophia were really proud to be raising funds for such a worthwhile cause. Meanwhile, while the middle and upper school were busy with the walk, the lower school had their sports day and Scarlett ran (and I do mean ran not walked) her race completely unaided. She also received the year 2 girls trophy for endeavour in sport. You would have been so proud. She has pushed herself so hard this year and it all started with you guys and taking those first tentative steps. Thank you so much, we will always be eternally grateful for all your amazing work and support.”

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Interval International’s fundraising fun!

Interval International is an exchange membership organisation for people that own timeshare, based in Raynes Park. Every two years the employees that are based in the London office nominate a new charity that they would like to help raise funds for. We are delighted that the employees recently voted Small Steps as their chosen charity from 2015 and 2016! Interval International have been organising various inter-company events such as bake sales, lucky dips, raffles, competitions and much more to help raise funds.   We were so pleased to meet Ayse, Danielle, Michael and Claire from Interval recently and show them some of the wonderful Small Steps children and parents that they will be raising money for.

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RSA UK Underwriting Team’s Quadrathlon

Over the last few years the RSA UK Underwriting team have supported Small Steps by raising money via 10K runs & swimming challenges, hosting charity quiz nights and raffles and helping us to move to our new premises.  Last year the team took on a quadrathlon where they took it in turns to swim 1K, run 5k and cycle 10k.  On top of that they walked 11 miles from their offices in central London to Small Steps in Roehampton. We are delighted that the team decided to do the challenge again on 5th June this year!  Thanks so much to all the team for all your efforts and raising such valuable funds for Small Steps.

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Falconwood Golf Club Captain’s Charity

We are delighted to have been one of the chosen charities to benefit from the Falconwood Golf Club Charity Day on 18th May which raised a huge £4000 for Small Steps! This is the second year running that Small Steps has been lucky enough to be chosen as the Captain’s Charity.  The Charity Golf day involved approximately 90 players, made up of Falconwood Golf Club members and guests. Golfers braved the wind and rain to play a round and were rewarded by dinner, with a fundraising raffle and auction at the end. We are very enormously grateful to all at Falconwood Golf Club, especially chief organisers Kathryn and David Whitbread, our representative Peter Johnston (Graduate Small Stepper Isla’s Daddy) and this year’s Captain, Frank Piper.

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26 miles for Small Steps

Huge congratulations to David Soubeyrand, Dad to Small Stepper Côme, who took up the challenge of running this year’s London Marathon for Small Steps!  David said, “I am raising money for Small Steps because they’re helping our son Côme walk.  Small Steps rely totally on donations and without it children like my son wouldn’t have the support he really needs right now, they’ve been crucial to Côme’s progress.”  David has raised over £2,300 on his JustGiving page.  Thanks so much David!

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Côme at Small Steps
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David
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Medal winner!

Alphabet Nursery Scoot for Small Steps!

We’re very grateful to The Alphabet Nursery, who once again did a ‘sponsored wheelie event’ in aid of Small Steps and The Buguruni School in Tanzania.  The children raised a massive £855.93 for Small Steps and we’re so grateful that they chose us as one of their charities again this year.

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Funds raised on Undiagnosed Children’s Day

Friday 24th April was the third Undiagnosed Children’s Day – a nationwide event to increase awareness of undiagnosed genetic conditions.  We are delighted that Stacy Paddon, Mum to Small Stepper Cady, raised £415 for Small Steps to mark Undiagnosed Children’s Day on her JustGiving page.  Stacy said “Cady started Small Steps this year and has made lots of great progress towards learning to walk!  She loves the sessions and the team there.  Small Steps is a free service and relies on donations for their work. Please help us to support them for Undiagnosed Children’s Day.”   

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Cady

We’re collecting Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers

We are delighted that Small Steps is taking part in the Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme again this year. You can collect vouchers when you shop in Sainsbury’s stores, petrol stations or for groceries online, then donate them to Small Steps and we can exchange them for lots of lovely new equipment for our children!  Please ask friends and family to donate their vouchers too.

Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme is a great initiative from which Small Steps has benefitted hugely over the past few years.  Ellie Simmonds has signed up again to be an Active Kids ambassador and as a double gold medal-winner at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the youngest person ever to receive an MBE, Ellie’s a truly inspirational role model.  Ellie says, “I have been part of Active Kids for more than five years and joined a year after competing at the Beijing Paralympic Games. Not only have I have benefited first-hand from their support, but I’ve also seen just how enthusiastic kids are about sport. It’s so important that children learn to lead healthier lives from as early on as possible. And if I can help them achieve that, then it’s another gold for me!”

Please pop your vouchers in the post to us at Small Steps or bring them with you when you visit.  Many thanks.

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The London Triathlon

We’re so grateful to Alistair and Marie, who are bravely taking up the challenge of doing the London Triathlon in August to raise money for Small Steps. They explain why…

“After several years of injuries, being unfit and various obstacles, we’re finally plucking up the courage to run swim and cycle for charity. Ali’s useless at sticking with his rehabilitation but with a goal in mind, we want to raise awareness for a fantastic cause – Small Steps.

This charity is very close to our hearts for a number of reasons. Small Steps, School for Parents helps children with special needs, aged from birth to 4 years, work on all areas of their development, using the principles of conductive education.

These children have cerebral palsy, other forms of motor impairment, syndromes or sensory impairment. They need a great deal of extra stimulation and assistance to help them reach even the most basic milestones. At Small Steps, a teacher, conductor and physiotherapist lead a parent and child team through a structured programme designed to help each child achieve individualised developmental steps. Crucially, it helps parents create an extra special bond with their child which improves their overall quality of life.

The work of Small Steps is truly inspirational and we would be extremely grateful for your support for this very worthy cause, every little bit will make a big difference!”

Please sponsor Alistair and Marie on their JustGiving page if you can.  Thank you!

triathlon

Credit Punch cheque presentation

We were delighted to have Richard O’Dwyer and Lauren Clackett visit us recently.  Richard is a longtime friend and supporter of Small Steps and has organised a total of four Credit Punch events for Small Steps, the most recent being Credit Punch IV in February 2015.  Richard came along, with Lauren who helped organise the Credit Punch IV event, to present us with a cheque for £25,167!! This is a very significant sum for Small Steps and it will enable us to offer places to more families and enable more children to benefit from our service.  We are so grateful to everyone involved in the event for raising so much for Small Steps!

A great day had at the Richmond May Fair!

We had a fantastic day at The Richmond May Fair on Saturday 9th May, with our now legendary cake stall! A massive thank you to one and all for contributing to the success of the Small Steps stall.  We raised just over £660 and had a lovely day meeting lots of friends and supporters. A special thank you to all the parents who helped bake and sell cakes on the stall.  We couldn’t have done it without you! stall1stall3stall2helpers3helpers1helpers2

Credit Punch IV

On 12th February 2015 a group of 16 brave men from the financial world gathered at the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel to compete in the white collar boxing tournament, “Credit Punch IV”. This was the fourth annual “Credit Punch” event, from which money raised has been generously donated to Small Steps. We are hugely grateful to Richard O’Dwyer, friend and supporter of Small Steps, who both organised the event and stepped into the ring too. We are waiting to hear the final total raised, but sources tell us it may be close to £25,000!!!  We are delighted that the funds raised from the Credit Punch IV event will enable Small Steps to offer places to more families and enable more children to benefit from our service. Sincere thanks to Richard, Carole, Kayleigh, Lauren, Jo, Liz, Kas and everyone involved in organising and running the event, a big thank you to all the boxers and most of all to Lizzie Latham (Imogen’s Mum), who spoke so beautifully on the night about Small Steps.    

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Ollie’s Dad runs for Small Steps

Ollie
Ollie

Ollie regularly attends Small Steps sessions and his Dad, Ian, has decided to sign up for the Hampton Court Half Marathon on 29th March to raise money for us.  Ian says “I am raising money for the charity Small Steps because they are helping my son Ollie learn to walk.  Small Steps rely totally on donations and without it children like my son wouldn’t have the support he really needs right now, they’ve been crucial to Ollie’s progress.”.    Ollie has also roped in his friend Paul Nicholson to run the half marathon with him and Paul is also kindly raising money for Small Steps.  

Ian is raising money on his JustGiving page and Paul on his JustGiving page so please sponsor them whatever you can.   Thank you and good luck to Ian and Paul from us all at Small Steps.

Small Steps Cake Stall at QVC was a Big Hit!

We’re very excited to have been chosen as one of the QVC’s charities this year! The staff fundraise for their corporate charities by holding sample sales, bake sales, raffles and undertaking mentoring, coaching, gardening and painting and lots more!  The first ‘Sample Sale’ took place last week and Small Steps had a cake stall at the event. A big thank you to all who helped to supply us with the fabulous array of cakes and cookies for the stall.  A couple of hundred QVC staff turned up to rummage through ex-display / sample sale goods and were very pleased to have a Cake Stall that was positively groaning under the weight of masses of yummy cakes!

The fact that we had such an amazing selection of cakes was a real talking point. We raised well over £150 on the day, but the real value was in the fact that people spent time choosing their cake(s) and asking about our charity. ‘What did we do’? ‘Where were we based?’ and most importantly, ‘Who had made all of these cookies, brownies and cakes?’ More than one person came back and put their lose change in our money boxes and a few even came back after the sale was over, to thank us for bringing gluten  and dairy free options. The QVC team, could not have been more helpful and were a dream to work with, helping with set -up, clearing up and selling the cakes on the day.  Thanks also to George’s Dad, James who nominated us as a QVC charity in the first place. We look forward to more events throughout the year.

Interval International support Small Steps

intervalInterval International is an exchange membership organisation for people that own timeshare, based in Raynes Park. Every two years the employees that are based in the London office nominate a new charity that they would like to help raise funds for. We are delighted that the employees recently voted Small Steps as their chosen charity from 2015 and 2016! Interval International arrange various inter-company events such as bake sales, lucky dips, raffles, competitions and much more to help raise funds.   We were pleased to meet Ayse, Danielle, Michael and Claire from Interval recently and show them some of the wonderful Small Steps children and parents that they will be raising money for.

Charity Ball

We are delighted to be involved in a Charity Ball on Saturday 14th March which promises to be a great evening.

Sarah & Colin Jones are organising the event and proceeds are being split between two good causes; ‘Small Steps’ and ‘Helping Hands for Little Feet’.  ‘Helping Hands for Little Feet’ is fundraising for therapy for Sarah and Colin’s son, Haydn, following life changing surgery to assist him to walk.  Haydn has Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy.  Haydn and his Mum Sarah used to attend ‘Small Steps’ sessions when he was younger.
We’re very grateful to Sarah and Colin for choosing Small Steps as their partner charity for this event.



Charity ball

OBE for Philanthropist Charlotte Grobien

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Charlotte presents a cheque to Anita at Small Steps

On New Years Eve 2014 it was announced that Charlotte Grobien, Philanthropist and Founder of the ‘Give it Away’ project had been awarded an OBE for charitable services to Children and Young People.  When Charlotte heard the news she said, “I found this overwhelming and I feel very honoured to receive it. I think there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes from close friends and supporters, which I found emotional and touching! I can’t thank you all enough!”.

Small Steps is hugely indebted to Charlotte who has been a major supporter of Small Steps in recent years via ‘Give-it-Away’. Her mission has been to undertake projects whose total profits are given to children and young people in need. These profits are generated through the development and building of property. To date Charlotte has donated a massive £1,115000 to various children’s charities. We are grateful beyond words to Charlotte for her ongoing support of Small Steps and offer all our congratulations on her OBE.

The Hampton Court Half Marathon

Craig Walliser
Craig Walliser

We’re very grateful to Craig Walliser who, on 22nd February, ran the Hampton Court Half Marathon in aid of Small Steps.  Craig is a friend of one of our Small Steps families and said “I am running this half marathon for Small Steps because of the great support they give my friends”.   The Hampton Court Half Marathon is run over a fast, flat and visually interesting course that borders the river-side grounds of the magnificent Hampton Court Palace to the South West  of London. Runners will enjoy full views of the Hampton Court Palace, the historic  Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Marketplace,  the picturesque village of Thames Ditton and the three mile stretch of the Barge Walk beside the Thames.  Craig has raised over £500 on his JustGiving page and it’s not too late to donate so please sponsor him if you can.  Many thanks.

Mulsanne’s 24 hour Challenge

We are so grateful to the team at The Mulsanne Partnership who have successfully completed their 24 Hour Challenge from 20th November to 21st November 2014.  As a group, they kept a treadmill, cross-trainer, bike and rowing machine going simultaneously for 24 hours by participating in relays throughout a 24 hour period.   Mulsanne is a proud and passionate supporter of Small Steps and the team there have done many wonderful fundraising challenges over the past few years to raise funds for us. The team have done an amazing job fundraising on their Just Giving page, raising £7,000 so far and still counting!  Thanks so much to the team and everyone who has donated.

The Mulsanne 24 Hour Challenge Team!
The Mulsanne 24 Hour Challenge Team!
The team mid challenge!
The team mid challenge!
Mission accomplished!
Mission accomplished!

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Visit from philanthropist Charlotte Grobien

It was wonderful to have a visit from Charlotte Grobien of ‘Give it Away’ recently and to welcome her colleague Catherine. Both popped in to say hello to our Thursday afternoon families and share tea and a chat. Small Steps is hugely indebted to Charlotte who has been a major supporter of Small Steps in recent years via her company ‘Give-it-Away’. Her mission has been to undertake projects whose total profits are given to children and young people in need. These profits are generated through the development and building of property. To date Charlotte has donated a massive £1,115000 to various children’s charities. We are grateful beyond words to Charlotte for her ongoing support of Small Steps. www.give-it-away.co.uk charlotte               IMG_8880

Thank you to all our sponsors and donors!

We are very grateful to the Mulsanne Partnership, the Gracious Heart Foundation, Network Rail, the Tommy Hollis Children’s Fund, Acorn Nursery and The Porters Trust who have all sponsored a group this term. We are indebted to every single person and organisation that has made a donation to Small Steps this year.  Your support is essential to the continuation of our service and to the support that we can offer our families and young children with disabilities. As Small Steps is a free service and does not receive any statutory funding, we are solely dependent on grants, donations and sponsorship in order to operate, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts! thank you

Children in Need week at Small Steps

The children, parents, carers and staff at Small Steps had great fun wearing our Pudsey and Blush Ears during Children in Need week, to show our gratitude to BBC Children in Need for their wonderful support! Children in Need who have very generously made a grant to Small Steps to fund a conductor/teacher over 3 years.  It was so exciting to have Fearne Cotton visit as part of Children in Need too. We are very grateful to everyone who donated and helped to support all the wonderful charities out there. www.bbc.co.uk/childreninneed Thank you.

Great fun had at our Children’s Christmas Party

It was a great atmosphere on 12th December for the Small Steps Christmas Party.  We had a funpacked morning with a special visit from Father Christmas who had a gift for each child and their siblings.  Then we had a wonderful singalong with Helen and Vanessa from ‘Singing Hands’ who sang and signed their way through a repertoire of Christmas songs.  Thank you to everyone who came along and especially to Father Christmas for finding time in his busy schedule to be with us!  We’re very grateful to the Cheyne Charity who kindly funded the party for us. 

Fearne Cotton visits Small Steps!

So lovely to have the wonderful Fearne Cotton visit Small Steps on behalf of Children in Need! Fearne was able to meet the Monday afternoon children and parents and share a cup of tea and a gossip! We are so grateful to Children in Need who have made a grant to Small Steps to fund a conductor/teacher over 3 years!  Don’t forget it’s Children in Need appeal day on 14th November so please donate what you can and help support all the worthy charities that Children in Need fund.  Thank you!

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Anna’s Miami Pro Fitness Model Championship

Anna Martin is Auntie to Henry, who comes to Small Steps sessions.  Anna took part in the Miami Pro Fitness & Model Championships and has raised over £1000 for Small Steps too!

Anna trained for months before the challenge and had to commit to a strict diet and train multiple times a week at the gym to ensure she was at top fitness for the Championships.

Anna says: “Small Steps is a charity close to my heart since my lovely brother and his equally lovely wife popped out gorgeous baby Henry who has Down’s Syndrome. At Small Steps, pre-school children with motor or sensory impairment work on all areas of their development, using the principles of conductive education. They have been fabulous to the Martin’s since the arrival of Henry ‘not-camera shy’ Martin and we would love to repay them in some way.”

We’re hugely grateful to Anna for raising such valuable funds for Small Steps!

"Before" and "After" shots of Anna
“Before” and “After” shots of Anna
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The Miami Pro Championship

Jamie’s Great North Run

A huge thank you to Jamie Belcher, who ran the Great North Run for Small Steps in just 2:05mins. Jamie works for Sidley Austin  a global law firm, who have supported Small Steps for a number of years. We’re so grateful to Jamie who has raised over £730 on his JustGiving page . Thank you so much Jamie!

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Christmas Shopping for Small Steps

Here at Small Steps we have a number of Christmas fundraising initiatives running this year which we hope you will support.

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Ian’s half marathon

Ian is Dad to Small Stepper Ollie, and has very kindly signed up to do the Hampton Court Half Marathon to raise funds for Small Steps.  The original Hampton Court Half Marathon is run over a fast, flat and visually interesting course that borders the river-side grounds of the magnificent Hampton Court Palace to the South West  of London.  We wish Ian the very best of luck with his training.  Ian is raising money via his Justgiving page, so please support him if you can.

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Fundraising Darts Exhibition

A big thank you to Geoff and Sue at The Bishopsford Social Club in Morden, who ran a fundraising darts night for Small Steps on 24th October.  Eric Bristow and Wayne Mardel (from Sky Sports) hosted the night and there was a raffle with some great prizes donated by darts professionals and other stars such as Al Murray.  At the end of the night both Eric and Wayne auctioned the shirts they were wearing too!  All funds raised on the night will come to Small Steps.  We’re very grateful to Geoff and Sue (Granny and Grandad to Small Stepper Ellis), for organising this fundraiser for us and to Ellis, his brother Ewan and Mum and Dad, Una and Paul for staying up late to represent Small Steps on the night!

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Wayne, Sue, Ellis, Geoff and Eric

 

Term Dates

Please note that regular sessions commenced on Friday 5th September. We really look forward to seeing you all!

Autumn Term: Sessions start:  Friday 5th September 2014
Half term: Monday 27th October – Friday 31st October 2014
Last day of sessions: Wednesday 17th December 2014
Last day of term: Friday 19th December 2014

Spring Term:
Term starts:  Monday 5th January 2015
Sessions start:  TBC
Half term: Monday 15th February – Friday 20th February 2015
Last day of sessions: TBC
Last day of term: Friday 27th March

Summer term:
Term starts: Monday 13th April 2015
Sessions start:  TBC
Bank Holiday: Monday 4th May 2015
Half term: Monday 25th May – Friday 29th May 2015
Last day of sessions: TBC
Last day of term:  Monday 20th July 2015

*Please note these dates may be subject to change.  If a change is necessary, you will be notified as as soon as possible.

166km Ultra Marathon for Small Steps

A huge thank you once again to Paul Mott, who completed the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc recently to raise money for Small Steps.

The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (also referred to as UTMB) is a single-stage mountain ultramarathon. It takes place once a year in the Alps, across France, Italy and Switzerland. The distance is approximately 166 km, with a total elevation gain of around 9,600 m. It is widely regarded as one of the most difficult foot races in Europe. It’s certainly one of the largest with over two thousand starters. The combined participation in all of the events is approaching 10 thousand runners.

Paul’s son Sam used to come to Small Steps and over the year’s Paul and his Sandblasters team, have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the charity.  Paul is raising money on his Sandblasters JustGiving page.  Please donate whatever you can.  Thank you.

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Paul Mott

British 10K London Run

Thank you so much to our 6 charity runners who completed the British 10k London Run on Sunday 13th July raising well over £6,000! The event started at Hyde Park Corner and passed London’s most famous landmarks, including St James’s Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, where the Small Steps Support Team were located!

Our runners were; Rachel (one of our Trustees) and her husband John, Nick (son of one of our staff members and his partner Jo, Day (friend of one of our Small Steps families) and Lindsay who works for one of our sponsors Network Rail!  We are hugely grateful to all 6 for agreeing to do this challenge and raise money for us.  You can still donate on each runners fundraising page as follows:

Lindsay Banks - http://www.justgiving.com/Lindsay-Banks1 Day Macaskill - http://www.justgiving.com/Day-Macaskill Rachel and John Pain - https://www.justgiving.com/JohnandRachel/ Nick Pell and Jo Nosalik - https://www.justgiving.com/Nick-Jo/

Lizzie & Rachel’s Grand Union Challenge

rachel and lizzieA huge thank you to our wonderful Trustee, Lizzie Dawson and her friend Rachel Xuereb, who braved the wind and rain on 28th June and successfully completed their walk from London to Hayes along the Grand Union Canal to raise money for Small Steps! Lizzie and Rachel walked 25km on the Grand Union Canal towpath, a ‘hidden green corridor’ that winds its way from the heart of London out towards the Chilterns.   We are so grateful to them both for raising well over £2000 on their JustGiving page. You can read more about the Challenge on their website here www.grandunionchallenge.com

3 Peaks for Small Steps!

We very grateful to long time supporters of Small Steps, Q Developments, who recently completed the 3 Peaks challenge to raise money for Small Steps! Maartens van Rensburg, Jeanette Quinn, Zoe Bongard, Trevor Wallbank, Michael von Steiger, Tracy Saxon, Jon Southern, Mike Mason and Neil Keane of Q Developments and Q Plant Hire walked the 3 Peaks in 24 hours for their chosen charities.

The team raised over £2,800 doing the Challenge for Small Steps! Big congratulations and thanks to everyone who took part. After the event the team at Q Developments said “We did it! It was incredibly tough but worth it – Ben Nevis was fun in the snow, Scafell Pike magical at midnight and Snowdon stunning – thank you to everyone who supported us and donated to our charities – however if you haven’t donated yet please do.” Just Giving fundraising page.

The National Three Peaks Challenge is a well known phrase amongst the more adventurous. This challenge involves walking the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.  The three peaks are Snowdon, in Wales (1085m), Scafell Pike, in England (978m) and Ben Nevis, in Scotland (1344m).

Maximum climbing times are generally suggested as being around 4 hours for Snowdon, and 5 hours for Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. It’s certainly not a gentle walk, and when three climbs are required within 24 hours the Challenge becomes more difficult, draining your energy and depriving you of sleep.

 

 

Falconwood Golf Club Charity Day

We are delighted to be the Falconwood Golf Club Captain’s Charity this year and recently Small Steps benefitted from the Club’s Charity Day. The event involved 88 players, made up of Falconwood Golf Club members and guests and raised a massive £2,125 for Small Steps!  This was then increased by a further £1000 by an extremely generous golfer on the day, bringing the total raised to over £3,000!!!

Peter (Dad to Isla, who attends Small Steps), played golf on the day and also represented Small Steps at the event.  We’re very grateful to Peter, Jo and Isla for attending the cheque presentation on 22nd June too! A big thank you to all involved especially Golf Club Captain, Adam Brighouse and Kathryn and David Whitbread who organised the Charity Day. David said “We had a very successful day with everyone enjoying the event and the wonderful weather. We had 100 people participating including both golfers and helpers. We raised £4250 for our Captains’ Charities….  For a small local Golf Club this is a wonderful achievement.”

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Kathryn with Peter, Isla and Jo (our Small Steps family) and Adam and David
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Cheque presentation on the Golf Course!

 

Dave’s Edinburgh Marathon

 

Dave Parker (pictured on right)
Dave Parker (pictured on right)

We’re so grateful to Dave for running the Edinburgh Marathon on 24th May for Small Steps!

Dave finished in a very impressive 3 hours 46 minutes and he has raised over £800 on his JustGiving page. We’re so grateful to Dave for choosing to raise funds for us.

The Edinburgh Marathon is Scotland’s most popular marathon. It began in 2003 and has continually grown in popularity and stature, having just received a 97% satifaction rating in a recent Runner’s World poll. In numbers, the Edinburgh Marathon is second only to the London Marathon in the UK, with over 16,000 runners taking part. 

Before the race Dave said “I am foolishly attempting to run the Edinburgh marathon in May, and will be doing so to raise money for Small Steps. They are a charity that provides support for young children with special needs (including my cousin’s little boy Joe).

 

The Gracious Heart Foundation

We have been delighted to welcome our friends from the Gracious Heart Foundation recently.  Tatiana, Tetiana, Maria and President of the foundation Nadya, came to watch a session and to meet some of the children and parents and find out all about what we do here at Small Steps.

They then made a subsequent visit and brought with them a very generous donation of £5,000 raised by some of the Gracious Heart Foundation London Marathon runners, which we are enormously grateful for.

Gracious Heart Charity Foundation is an independent Russian non-profit organisation founded in 2008. Their mission is to help children with physical disabilities, orphans and to promote family values. They have helped hundreds of children suffering from cerebral palsy. They have provided 16 orphanages and 18 child rehabilitation centres with furniture, clothes, stationary and necessary medical equipment. They have also project planned and funded the refurbishment and general building repairs for these centres. They have helped 1245 orphans find new loving families and have organised dozens of special events and projects to improve these beneficiaries’ lives…

London to Paris Bike Ride

Screen shot 2014-07-27 at 19.38.03We’re really grateful to Aaron Cassidy who has just completed the London to Paris bike ride in aid of Small Steps!  Aaron completed the 250km ride in a just 46 hours 15 minutes.  This is an amazing charity challenge starting from the UK’s capital, through the English countryside over to rural France and on to the heart of Paris, finishing under the Eiffel Tower!

The London to Paris charity cycle is a great experience and a fabulous challenge which is not just about distances covered and start and finishing points, the bike ride is about group effort, friendship and more importantly spirit.

You can still sponsor Aaron on his Just Giving page.

Purdy’s Pedal Push!

Huge fun was had by all at Purdy’s sponsored ‘Pedal Push’ at Clapham Common!  We’re so grateful to Davina and Purdy and all who took part.

Purdy’s Mum Davina explains more.. “Hello everyone, Purdy and the rest of her entourage (family, nanny, adoring public and dopey dog) are doing some fundraising for Small Steps in July. We are holding a ‘pedal push’ (really an excuse to cover a small amount of ground in, on or pushing anything with wheels, including pushchairs)…. We have a Just Giving page for collecting the lovely wonga .   As we all know Small Steps is a unique and sublime place and so many families have and shall continue to benefit from its existence. Help us to make that a little easier for the peeps at Small Steps and come and have some fun too…”

You can still donate on their page, so please donate whatever you can. Thank you!

Kai and Lesley do the Coast to Coast

kai&lesleyWe’re really grateful to Kai and his Mum Lesley, who completed the 190 mile Coast to Coast walk from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay to raise money for Small Steps. The Coast to Coast Walk is a mostly unsignposted long-distance footpath in Northern England. Devised by Alfred Wainwright, it passes through three contrasting national parks: the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.

Wainwright recommends that walkers dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea at St Bees and, at the end of the walk, in the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay!

You can sponsor Kai and Lesley on their JustGiving page here.

Coast to coast for Small Steps!

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Geoff
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Kathleen

 

We are very grateful to Geoff, (Grandad to Ellis who attends Small Steps) and to Geoff’s sister Kathleen who together with 6 others walked from the West coast to the East coast of England in just 13 days.  This is a total of 200 miles and they climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest!!  It was by all accounts a gruelling trek, but they did it and raised £5,000 for Small Steps in the process.  We are full of admiration for them all. You can still show your support for Geoff doing this challenge by sponsoring him on his Virgin Money Giving Page and to Kathleen by sponsoring on her Virgin Money Giving Page.  Thanks so much!

Sponsored “Push, Pull and Ride”!

We’re very grateful to Miss Delaney’s Nursery School in Notting Hill who on 24th June did a sponsored “Push, Pull and Ride” to raise money for Small Steps.  The nursery age children did sponsored laps on scooters, tricycles etc or pulling or pushing things!  We hope the sun shone for you on the day!  Miss delayneys2

Kew Midsummer Fete

Kew 2014_1We had a fabulous day selling doughnuts at the Kew Midsummer Fete whilst raising the profile of the charity too! The weather was amazing and all had a fantastic day out with vintage fairground, live bands, over 100 stalls, great food and drink.  A big thank you to all the staff and parents who helped out on the day!  www.kewfete.org

Norwood School YPI

Well done to the student team (Rosie, Georgina, Shannon, Sofia and Meliq) at The Norwood School who this week, represented Small Steps in their Youth Philanthropy Initiative Day. We’re really proud of you all!  YPI encourages students to actively participate in helping their communities. Once a secondary school enrolls in YPI, all students in a selected year level will take part in YPI as a project within a regular academic course.

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26 miles for Small Steps

A massive thank you to both Jon and Rob who ran the London Marathon for Small Steps on Sunday! Rob completed the course in an amazing 4 hours 25 mins and Jon in just 3 hours and 25 mins!!! Jon (Uncle to Small Stepper Joe), was greeted at the finish with a big cheer from Joe! We’re so grateful to both Jon and Rob who between them have raised well over £5000 for Small Steps. What heroes!

You can sponsor them on their fundraising pages:
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonMarchese
https://www.justgiving.com/Rob-Wilshere

Rob at the Finish Line!
Rob at the Finish Line!

Rob Wilshere says: I have been very fortunate to be offered a Ballot place on this year’s 2014 London Marathon. This means I have the opportunity to choose which charity I can help donate to. As a Father of 4 young boys and budding athletes, I thought it would be a good idea to lead by example to them and by helping other children who may not be as fortunate as my own boys.  A close colleague of mine used the specialist help provided by Small Steps for his son and the help and support has proved vital in Sam’s development and wellbeing as well as providing much needed help and support to his family.

Jon and Joe!
Jon and Joe!

Jon Marchese (Uncle to Small Stepper Joe) says: “For the past 18 months, my nephew has attended Small Steps.  He will be 3 in January.  Children up to the age of 4 attend small group sessions once a week with a parent or carer designed to help them achieve their next developmental steps.  This may be learning new physical skills or helping them to develop social, communication and sensory skills.  With Small Steps’ support, loving and devoted mums and dads and their own determination, these little boys and girls can start to enjoy exploring a world which we take for granted.  Small Steps is a free service to Children in the London area and is solely dependent on grants, donations and fund raising in order to operate.

For both myself and Mo Farah, this will be our first marathons.  I can’t commit to wearing an orvil outfit, carrying a fridge or tossing a pancake for 26 miles.  What I can do is train all through the winter with the goal of raising £5,000 for Small Steps. This will cover the cost of running a session once a week for 12 weeks for up to 5 children.  It really can make a difference.”

 

Visits from our lovely Fundraisers!

We had a very busy morning with visits from both Richard O’Dwyer, who organised the 3rd Credit Punch event for Small Steps this year, and Chris, Kate and George Hollis from the Tommy Hollis Foundation who sponsor a Wednesday morning session.

It was wonderful to meet new baby George and meet nanny Jana too.

The highlight of the morning was a cheque presentation from Richard for £24,700 raised at the recent Credit Punch Event.  We’re so grateful to both Richard and the Hollis family for their continuous support!

 

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Jana, Chris, Kate and George with Anita
Richard O'Dwyer with his Small Steps medal!
Richard O’Dwyer with his Small Steps medal!
Cheque presentation!
Cheque presentation!

Small Steps at Waterloo Station

Network Rail have very generously sponsored two Small Steps sessions a week for the whole Summer Term and in addition to this they kindly invited Small Steps to run a stand at Waterloo Station Passenger forum to promote the charity and do a bucket collection too! We’re enormously grateful to Network Rail for their ongoing support and really enjoyed raising the profile of Small Steps at Waterloo on 20th May. DSCN0381photo 1network rail

Sidley Singers compete in ‘Legal Harmony’!

Many congratulations and a big thank you to the Sidley Singers for their amazing performance at the Legal Harmony Competition yesterday to raise funds for Small Steps.   Click here to see a video of their performance.  Bethany Burrow, an Associate at Sidley Austin explains more; “We’ve had a choir here at Sidley Austin LLP for many years, but we only ever wheel ourselves out for high days and holidays, often in conjunction with the other businesses in our building.  When we saw an advert for the Legal Harmony Choir Competition in the legal press, we thought it would be a great way to get us singing all year round and not just in the festive season, so we entered.  Now all we have to do is rehearse like crazy in order to knock the socks off our audience (and competitors!) when we perform at the competition on 15 May in Southwark Cathedral. The Sidley Singers have set up a Just Giving page for donations.  Please sponsor them if you can!

The RSA UK Underwriting Team Sports Challenge!

A big Small Steps cheer for the wonderful RSA Underwriting Team who successfully completed their Quadrathlon on Tuesday! They took it in turns to Swim 1K, Run 5K and Cycle 10K and then to walk from their office at Leadenhall Street to Small Steps, where there was a welcoming party at the finish line!

Over the last few years The RSA UK Underwriting Team have supported Small Steps by raising money doing 10K runs & swimming challenges, hosting charity quiz nights and raffles and helping the Small Steps team move to our new premises!

Together with money raised from other fundraising events, they have raised over £1420 for Small Steps this year. Thanks so much guys!

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Richmond May Fair raised £500!

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us at The Richmond May Fair on Saturday. It was a blustery, showery day, but we raised £500 for Small Steps so it was well worth braving the weather! A special thank you to all our bakers and helpers, it wouldn’t have happened without you!
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Matt ran the Brighton Marathon

brightonmarathonOn 6th April, Matt White ran the Brighton Marathon raising £740 for Small Steps!  The Brighton Marathon is a road race run over the distance of 26 miles, taking in some of the sights of central Brighton before heading East towards Rottingdean, then west out to and around Hove, and finally returning on the seafront and finishing on Madeira Drive, close to Brighton Pier.

Matt explains why he’s raising funds for Small Steps…”I am raising donations for Small Steps by running the Brighton Marathon on 6 April.  Two very close friends of mine use the specialist help provided by Small Steps for their son.  Small Steps was founded to provide help and support to parents with physically disabled children.  Small Steps is a free service and as a registered charity they do not receive any statutory funding.  Small Steps is solely dependent on grants, donations and fundraising in order to operate. Your donation would help Small Steps continue to make a difference for so many disabled children and their parents.  Thank you for your support.”

 

Christina’s Tough Guy Challenge

A huge Small Steps thank you to Christina Bridge who on March 29th, took on the Tough Guy Challenge to raise money for Small Steps!
‘Tough Guy’ is the toughest test of its kind anywhere in the World. Competitors will need every last ounce of mental and physical strength they can muster to rise to this challenge. Fear of heights, tight spaces, fire, water and electricity will be tested to the max. Everyone bar the very toughest will be beaten by over 250 manmade obstacles!
In recognition of Christina’s bravery please sponsor her on JustGiving: http://www.justgiving.com/Christina-Bridge

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Broadgate Mainland visit

We are delighted that Broadgate Mainland supports Small Steps as their sponsored charity.  Broadgate Mainland is a multi-award-winning UK-based communications and public relations (PR) agency.  
It was lovely to see BM’s Roddi Vaughan-Thomas, Monika Witkowska and Iona Cousland recently who came to say hello and meet some of the families at Small Steps.  Broadgate have been keen supporters of Small Steps for over 2 years, through doing Triathlons, running marathons, charity cake sales, a guess the baby photo competition, charity raffles and more…!  We are hugely grateful to all at Broadgate for their ongoing support.  

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Call for adapted supermarket trolleys for disabled children!

disabletrolleyStacie Lewis, (who used to come to Small Steps with her daughter May), has been campaigning for all the major supermarkets to install disabled trolleys for children in their stores.
As a result of some coverage from BBC Radio 4 and articles on Stacie’s blog (www.mamalewis.com), Tesco’s in Brixton, Morrisons in Streatham, Sainsburys in Upper Norwood and Waitrose in Beckenham now all have disabled trolleys (though they are only a seat with a lap strap so will not be appropriate for all of Small Steps children). Stacie is hoping that more supermarkets will order disabled trolleys soon.

Have you seen trolleys for disabled children at your local supermarket? If so, why not share details here to let other families know about it…  and if not, why not contact your local Supermarket to ask them to provide one!

Special Children’s Day at London Zoo

special children's day 2014 LZLondon Zoo have just announced the dates for their 2014 Special Children’s Day. This is a unique event for children with additional needs, full of interactive and inclusive fun, with specialist facilities and staff on hand as well as discounted Zoo entry for the whole family! See the London Zoo website for more details and to book tickets.  

Credit Punch III – a ‘knock-out’ event!

On Thursday 13th February 2014 a group of 18 brave men from the financial world gathered at the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel, to compete in the white collar boxing tournament - “Credit Punch III”.  This is the third annual “Credit Punch” event, from which money raised has been generously donated to Small Steps.  We are hugely grateful to Richard O’Dwyer, friend and supporter of Small Steps, who both organised the event and boxed on the night.  A big thank you also to the 17 other fighters, who courageously took to the boxing ring, all for a very good cause!

Last year’s event raised £17,000 for Small Steps and Richard is hopeful that this year they will have raised even more.  These funds will enable Small Steps to employ another Conductor Teacher, and in turn, enable us to help many more families.  A big Small Steps cheer to all who helped make this event possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dakar Challenge – complete!

They did it!  On 21st January 2014, Steve and John set off on the Dakar Challenge in aid of Small Steps and on 9th February, they arrived safely at Nouakchott, Mauritania, which is the ‘official’ end point for the Dakar Challenge.  But… as true adventurists they continued on to Senegal and finally to Dakar!

We’re so grateful to Steve and John for raising money for Small Steps by taking on this challenge.  Steve explains  what’s been involved…

 “The “Dakar Challenge” entails buying a second hand car (we have a Mitsubishi Pajero), and driving it from the UK down through Europe and across to Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and finally on to Dakar in Senegal.  Oh! There is a minefield we have to cross in Western Sahara, but I’m sure our trusty (or is that rusty) steed will get us there. See here for more details http://www.dakarchallenge.co.uk/

We are raising money for Small Steps and to donate to this worthwhile charity please visit our Just Giving site

 

Richmond May Fair

mayfairSmall Steps will be at The Richmond May Fair on Saturday 11th May, with our now legendary cake stall! We need volunteers to bake cakes for the stall, people to help sell and of course, people to buy cakes! Let us know if you’re available. It’s always a wonderful sociable day meeting up with Small Steps friends, old and new!

Great sponsorship news!

True-Colours-Logo

We are enormously grateful to The True Colours Trust who have allocated Small Steps a grant to cover the cost of running 2 sessions for a term from January.  The True Colours Trust is passionate about making a difference to the lives of children with special needs and their families and supporting people with life limiting and/or life threatening illnesses. The True Colours Trustees believe that all children and their families should be able to live happy, fulfilled lives with opportunities for play, friendship and education without the burdens of poverty, exclusion and discrimination.

The Trust works closely with organisations that share its ambition to provide imaginative, practical and often ground-breaking services in addition to delivering programmes that bring about sustained change whether at the level of policy or practice. The Trust’s work focuses on the major barriers and challenges experienced by families, children and young people with complex disabilities and/or life limiting and life threatening conditions.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

From all at Small Steps we wish all our families, friends and supporters a very happy and healthy 2014.  We would like to take this opportunity to share a story, written by the mother of a child with a disability.  It is widely published and many of you may already be familiar with it… but it is a positive message which reflects a core part of our own ethos here at Small Steps…

“A Trip to Holland”  by Emily Perl Kingsley. 

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

c1987 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Christmas party fun!

Many of the Small Steps families joined us on 13th December for the Small Steps Christmas Party.  It was a funpacked afternoon with a visit from Father Christmas with a gift for each child and their siblings.  Then we had a wonderful singalong with the ladies from ‘Singing Hands’ who sang and signed their way through a repertoire of Christmas songs.

Thank you to the Cheyne Charity for Children with Cerebral Palsy, Surrey Freemasons Corinthian Lodge and The Miles Trust for their donations towards our Christmas celebrations for children, families and supporters this year.

Sidley Austin Pentathlon Fundraiser

A huge thank you to everyone who competed in the recent Sidley Austin & City Athletic Pentathlon organised by Sandee Smith at Sidley Austin.  The event raised over £1,400 for Small Steps!
Sidley Austin are long time sponsors of Small Steps and continue to regularly raise money for us.  Thanks too to The City Athletic Gym for generously supporting the event.

Beyond Events Christmas visit to Small Steps

The wonderful Kate Kassar and her company Beyond Events are long time supporters of Small Steps and made a Christmas visit to us last week to meet the children they support and help us prepare for Christmas. This is what they had to say about their day… Thanks so much guys! (click on image to enlarge the text)  

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Small Steps Charity night in Morden

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Freddie & Elvis with our Small Steps collection bucket!

A HUGE Small Steps cheer and thank you to Sue and Geoff (Grandparents to Ellis) who ran a Small Steps Charity Night at the Bishopsford Road Social Club in Morden on Saturday 16th November and raised a massive £2335 for Small Steps!!! Sue and Geoff run the Social Club and put on a fantastic night of entertainment including music from Freddie Mercury and Elvis! We’re so grateful to them and everyone who attended the night for raising such valuable funds for Small Steps.

Small Steps Christmas Card in Stock Now!

The Small Steps Christmas cards have arrived!  Designed by the children in their sessions, the children have been hard at work producing a beautiful collage for the front of our card which you can see below..

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The cards are available to purchase from Small Steps now,  priced at £4.00 for 12 cards.  Contact the office to place an order or for more details!

Major grant received from Children in Need!

childreninneedWonderful news! We are delighted to announce that Small Steps has just been awarded a major grant from BBC Children in Need!   Children in Need is the BBC’s UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK.  This grant will ensure that Small Steps can continue to deliver our service to as many families as possible over the next 3 years.  Fantastic!

‘Sandstorm Steve’ strides out again for Small Steps

Steve in his 'Small Steps' running gear!
Steve in his ‘Small Steps’ running gear!

Steve Partridge one of our ‘Sandblasters’ just got back from the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon which is run over seven days, covering an approximate distance of 250 km (155 mi)! The event takes place in the Kalahari Desert in the proximity of the Augrabies Falls on the Orange River. The route traverses the Augrabies Falls National Park, private game parks and many private farmlands. This contrasting environment with average day temperatures reaching in excess of 40 °C and dropping to below 5 °C at night presents a daunting challenge to the extreme athlete and determined adventurer alike.  Steve said the race was “…very gruelling but still successful. My feet got chewed up on the race which was a lot harder than the Marathon Des Sables, but I did lead the event for 60 Kilometers”.  A huge Small Steps thank you to Steve for his continuing support of Small Steps.  Steve and the other ‘Sandblasters’ are collecting donations on their JustGiving page.

Radnor House School nominate us as their Charity of the year

We’re having a great week! Following the recent “Make a Difference Day” at Radnor House School, where six students came to Small Steps to volunteer, we had a visit from Nicola Console-Verma from the School, with news that Small Steps will be their charity for 2013-2014! We’re so grateful to the Students and look forward to a strong partnership with them over the coming year.

Introducing the latest member of our team

We would like to extend a special welcome our new staff member, Kasane Minowa-Astridge, who has joined the team this term.   Kas studied BSC Physiotherapy degree at St George’s University of London for 3 years.  She previously worked at the Whittington Health NHS Trust for 2 years, part time as a drama teacher, as a youth support worker for children with learning difficulties and a one to one personal support worker for a physically disabled adult.  Kas is a qualified Physiotherapist and will be getting to know the families in sessions over the coming weeks.

Kasane Minowa-Astridge
Kasane Minowa-Astridge

Small Steps receives a £4,200 grant!

santanderWe are absolutely delighted and so grateful to The Santander Foundation who have just awarded Small Steps a grant for £4,200! The Santander Foundation has two grants programmes to help disadvantaged people in the UK.  Small Steps were fortunate enough to receive a grant from the ‘Community Plus Scheme’ which is open to small local UK charities or local projects of national charities with funding available to cover salaries, equipment or materials.

Jim’s Sponsored Run for Small Steps

Jim – running for Small Steps

A big thank you to Jim Buckle who ran the Kingston 16 mile Breakfast Run on 13th October 2013 and raised over £3,150 for Small Steps!  Jim’s close friends have attended Small Steps with their daughter who has Rett Syndrome.  This is her mother’s description of what Small Steps has done for them:

“My four year old daughter has Rett Syndrome. It has taken so much from her.  Small Steps has taught me and her to concentrate on and to celebrate the things that she can do as we come to terms with what she cannot do.   Small Steps helps us to explore what she can do in fun and interesting ways; to think outside of the box and to use everyday objects with her to explore and build her capabilities.

The team are caring, always there to listen, always want to help and give advice.   In such a difficult situation we look forward to our Wednesday afternoons at Small Steps.  Small Steps has been an anchor and a guide for us since before her diagnosis.

There have been dark times and moments when thinking about the future had been difficult  but what Small Steps has done from the beginning has helped me to be positive and, from seeing my daughter taking part in the activities where she has responded well, has taught me that she can still have fun, laugh, giggle, smile and enjoy lots of praise and encouragement just like any other child.

My daughter has gradually lost the use of her hands but the approach and variety of games and activities I have learnt through Small Steps has given her the confidence to really try and use them in another way. Something as simple as pushing some soft balls through a ladder; to see her pride when she can do it and her joy as she watches it fall into a “goal” is so rewarding for her and myself. The claps and the praise from the other mums and Carers build her self esteem and for a moment make her feel like the most special person in the world. At Small Steps, she really is one of the most special people in the world…”

Please sponsor Jim on his JustGiving Page and help more families access Small Steps.

Jason did the BUPA Great South Run!

Jason Glover
Jason Glover

We are hugely grateful to Jason Glover who ran the Great South Run on Sunday 27th October and raised over £1,100 for Small Steps! Jason ran the fast and flat 10 mile route which takes in the iconic sites of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard including Portsmouth Cathedral, Spinnaker Tower and the HMS Victory- which has played host to the Band of HM Royal Marines, who often perform for passing runners! The final flat stretch along the sea front has given thousands of people the opportunity to get a personal best time for more than twenty years.  Jason works for Sidley Austin, a company who are long time sponsors of Small Steps and so has personally chosen to raise money for us.  Thanks so much!

 

Donation from Chelsea Building Society

We were delighted to receive a cheque for £100 from the Chelsea Building Society Charity Foundation ‘Make a Difference Week’ campaign recently. Every year members of the Building Society are invited to visit any branch or agency and recommend a local good cause to be considered for a donation of £100 from the Charitable Foundation by completing a simple nomination form.  One of our families who came to Small Steps with their child nominated Small Steps for the ‘Make a Difference Week’ campaign, at their local Chelsea Building Society branch in Ealing and we’re very pleased  and grateful to be one of the successful charities!

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Mr Terry Baker, Manager of the Chelsea Building Society in Ealing, came to visit Small Steps personally to present the cheque and find out a bit more about Small Steps.

 

Team Broadgate raise over £600 at the London Triathlon!

The Broadgate Mainland team took some giant leaps at the July London Triathlon in aid of Small Steps.  Broadgate’s Executive Director, Roddi Vaughan-Thomas cycled the gruelling 20km, and was joined by indomitable swimmer Jayne Adair for the 750m swim and experienced marathon runner Lauren Willington for the 5km run. The guys came 87th in the Team Sprint and raised over £600 for Small Steps.  Staff at Broadgate have been raising money for Small Steps all year, through charity cake sales, a guess the baby photo competition, charity raffles and more…

We are hugely grateful to Roddi, Jayne and Lauren and to all the staff at Broadgate Mainland for their support and urge you to sponsor them on their Just Giving page if you can.  Thank you!

 

230km marathon completed in record time!

We’re so proud of Team Small Steps who were running the Al Andalus Ultimate Trail between 8-12 July … Our team, Arend Burgers of Holland, Fred Coppens Of Belgium and our homegrown ‘Sandblaster’ Paul Mott ran a 230km ultra-marathon in Southern Spain with numerous long climbs (7,200 meters of ascent/descent), technical trails, and extreme heat (30-40C)!!!  Huge congratulations and thanks to the guys who came 2nd out of 50 competitors!  You can still sponsor them on their Just Giving page.

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Fred, Paul and Arend with their medals!

 

40 miles in a day for Small Steps

On the 11th May Chris, Claire, Zoe and Rob walked 40 miles in a day to celebrate their ‘BIG FOUR O’ and raised over £800 for Small Steps!! Claire is Godmother to Sofia, who attends Small Steps each week, and so Claire and Chris kindly decided to make this a sponsored walk for Small Steps. They walked through all kinds of weather but finished the 40 miles together in 13 and a half hours. A massive thanks to you all.

Small Steps at the Kew Midsummer Fete

Staff and volunteers braved the wind and rain on Saturday 22nd June at the Kew Midsummer Fete and raised £239 for Small Steps! Thanks to everyone involved!

www.kewfete.org

 

GamesAid Charity Golf Day

GamesAid are organising the 6th Annual Entertainment Industry Charity Golf & Spa Day which takes place on Thursday 11th July 2013 at The Grove in Watford, the venue of Tiger Woods’ victory in the American Express Championship in 2006.

Last year’s event was a raging success, where the efforts of many of the Entertainment Industry key companies helped GamesAid raise the largest amount of money ever from one single event for children’s charities and worthy causes, one of which was Small Steps!!

If you or anyone you know, works in the Entertainment Industry and would like to experience a great day out with Industry friends there are still a limited number of tickets available at the Golf & Spa Day website.

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James Duffitt takes on the Dublin Duathlon for Small Steps

Huge congratulations and thanks to James Duffitt, (Indie’s Uncle) who completed the Dublin Duathlon on 5th June to raise money for Small Steps. James said “Perfect weather on the night meant the course was very fast (most people were faster than me!) but I completed the duathlon in 51.01 so am delighted. A HUGE thank you to everyone who sponsored me, Small Steps is a fantastic cause who do great work. Thank you all so much”. You can still sponsor James on his JustGiving page.

Sarah completed the BUPA London 10k!

A big Small Steps thank you to Sarah Atley who successfully completed the BUPA London 10k on 27th May to raise money for us! Well done Sarah! You can still sponsor her on her JustGiving page.

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“Tommy Time” Wednesdays!

We are so grateful to the Tommy Hollis Children’s Fund who are once again sponsoring the Wednesday morning session!  Chris, Kate and Jack Hollis came to visit the Wednesday morning group this week.  It was great to catch up with them and we hope they’ll visit us again very soon.

Chris, Kate and Jack Hollis with the Wednesday morning group
Chris, Kate and Jack Hollis with the Wednesday morning group

Charlie’s climbing Snowdon for sister Eloise

Charlie’s sister, Eloise attends sessions at Small Steps on a weekly basis and on 25th May he and mum Sarah and his grandparents are climbing Snowdon to raise money for two charities very close to their hearts – Small Steps and also SWAN UK.

Sarah said, “Many of you will know I have a gorgeous, happy little girl called Eloise who is 3 years old.  She has severe developmental delay, learning difficulties, a respiratory condition and she is unable to walk or communicate.  Despite numerous tests the professionals are still unable to diagnose her although they believe the cause to be genetic.

As I’m sure many of you can imagine – this feels very isolating and life has been very difficult until we discovered SWAN UK, a project specifically set up to support families of children with undiagnosed genetic conditions.  The Facebook support group is amazing and its so nice to know there is a group who know what it is like to travel a different path to the rest of the world.

The other charity we have decided to support is Small Steps, based in Roehampton where Eloise goes for therapy fortnightly.  The sessions are based on the principles of Conductive Education which is about active learning, life skills broken down into small achievable steps based on the strong belief that children with physical disabilities can learn new or different ways of approaching and dealing with everyday tasks through a greater knowledge of their own abilities.  Thank you so much for your support, it is greatly appreciated.”

Please show your support for Charlie and his family by sponsoring them on their Virgin Money Giving page.

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Charlie and Eloise

 

A great day at Richmond May Fair!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped out, visited us, baked and bought cakes at the Richmond May Fair on Saturday! It was lovely to see everyone and we raised some valuable funds for Small Steps. Thanks to all for making the day such a success!

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BUPA London 10k

Sarah and Louise are running the BUPA London 10k on 27th May to raise money for Small Steps! The Race starts (and finishes) in The Mall and follows a clockwise route around the City of Westminster and the City of London. Many thanks and best of luck to Sarah and Louise! To show your support please sponsor them on their JustGiving page. Thank you!

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Incorporation update

Following our recent Incorporation we are pleased to announce that Companies House have granted Small Steps exemption from using the word ‘limited’ in our name.
We are now officially known as “Small Steps SFP” (School for Parents).  All other contact and registration details remain the same.

A visit from sponsors Broadgate Mainland

Lovely to have Roddi and Yasemin from Broadgate Mainland visit our Friday morning session recently. They came to see for themselves the work we do at Small Steps and how their donations are used.  We are so grateful to them for their ongoing fundraising for Small Steps!

Roddi and Yasemin from Broadgate Mainland with the Friday morning group

Small Steps featured on GamesAid Charity Video!

GamesAid is a computer games industry charity that collects & distributes funds to small UK based charities with a focus on children & young people. Small Steps was lucky enough to be one of the GamesAid Charities last year and we are featured on this wonderful GamesAid 2012 Charity video! Can you can spot anybody you know?

Fundraising 1000 mile Motorbike ride to Germany

On the 11th May 2013 Jane (Harvey’s Grandma) and 8 other Harley Riders will be setting out on an Iron Butt ride to the Nuremburg Ring in Germany to raise money for their respective charities. This is a 1000 mile bike ride that must be completed within a 24 hour time period.

An Iron Butt ride tests endurance, persistence and determination.  Jane said “Although it will be a challenge this is something I am looking forward to especially as its for such a great cause. Lets hope for some nice, dry, warm weather!”

Please sponsor Jane on her JustGiving page and show your support for her epic adventure!  Many thanks.

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Harvey

 

Inspiring Parents Workshop

Before Easter we had a wonderful Parents Workshop about Sport for children with disabilities. We were delighted to welcome Lizzie Annis, who was in the very first Small Steps group and Laurentia Tan, a UK based Singaporean Para-equestrian competitor and Paralympic Medal winner. Both Lizzie and Lauren spoke about their experiences in riding and their wonderful achievements. It was an inspiring evening and wonderful to meet Lauren and to see Lizzie again after all these years. Thanks so much to you both!

Lizzie and Small Steps in 1999
Lizzie and Small Steps in 1999
Lizzie with Anita and with Anthea and Lauren at Small Steps in 2013
Laurentia Tan competing at the London 2012 Paralympics and with her fellow medal winners. 

Comedy Store event raises the roof and valuable funds…

“Stand up for GamesAid” took place on Monday April 15th at London’s Comedy Store. There was a dynamic and exciting bill of talented comedians that kept us laughing all night! All funds raised go to the GamesAid charities, of which, Small Steps was one last year.

Small Steps would like to thank Imran Yusuf and Gamesaid for organising the fundraiser and hosting the show.  We are so grateful to you for raising valuable funds for some amazing charities including Small Steps!

Imran Yusuf at The Comedy Store
Imran Yusuf at The Comedy Store

Harrodian Students win £3000 for Small Steps

Huge thanks to Harrodian School Year 9 Students who won £3000 for Small Steps at the Youth Philanthropy Initiative Final on Wednesday 13th March!! Their brilliant presentation came 1st out of 5 others and everyone at Small Steps is very grateful and proud of the students. Thanks so much!

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Harrodian Students presenting cheque to Nicola Thackeray

 

 

Get the new ‘My Child & Me’ Magazine App!

“My Child and Me” focuses on, and speaks directly to, the parents of young children with additional needs.  It has been developed in response to demand from parents for an information resource of this kind.  Unfortunately the magazine is no longer available in printed version but is now available to download as an App for iphones, android and smart phones and tablets.

This bi-monthly digital publication bridges the information gap that exists for those parents who need realistic, down to earth and friendly advice about the additional needs of their child whilst also providing support for the parents themselves.

Each edition centres on the very early years of a child’s development from the moment of birth until pre-school thus giving the parents the greatest opportunity to give their child the best possible start in life.  To download the App please visit the “My Child & Me” website and follow the ‘download’ links.

Take part in the Kew Rotary Ramble 2013

Why not take part in this year’s Rotary Club Ramble and raise money for Small Steps too? The Rotary Club of Kew Gardens has generously supported Small Steps in the past and they are organising a Sponsored Riverside Ramble between Kew and Richmond on Saturday 18th May 2013. You have the choice
of having 75% of the funds you raise donated to your own chosen Charity and the other 25% will be donated to The Rotary’s chosen Charities. For more information and details of how to sign up see the flyer below.

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Monday morning session visitors

We were delighted to welcome Carole and Roger (Lucie’s Grandad) to Small Steps on Monday 18th March.  Big thumbs up to Small Steps Champions, Carole Bartlett and Richard O’Dwyer (who couldn’t be with us) for raising £17,000 by organising the recent Credit Punch II event.  We are very grateful to them.

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Caleb, Sam, Lucie and Alannah welcome Carole and Roger to their session

Half Marathon for Small Steps

Sam’s Dad, James, and Sam’s Auntie Maddy are running the Richmond 13.1 Half Marathon on 31st March to raise money for Small Steps.  This will be the furthest either of them have run (if they make it!).  But we’re sure they will!!!  Please show your support for James and Maddy by sponsoring them on their Virgin Money Giving page.  Thank you.

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Dublin Duathlon for Small Steps

Indiana’s Uncle James is taking on the Dublin Duathlon for Small Steps on 5th June 2013.  Please show your support by sponsoring him on his JustGiving page.

Small Steps is now Small Steps SFP Limited

We are delighted to announce that Small Steps has now become Small Steps SFP Limited following our incorporation!

Although the legal structure has changed, the services provided by Small Steps are in no way affected and for everyone it is “business as usual”.  Please note, however, that any donations or payments should now be made to Small Steps SFP Limited with effect from today.

Further information regarding Small Steps SFP Limited, including details of our company number and charitable number, are set out in the press release below.

If you have any questions, comments or need further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Anita Coppola, Head of Service or Andrea Samuelson, Chair of Trustees or any member of the Trustee Body via the Small Steps office.

Small Steps Incorporation Press Release

ShareGift donates £1000

We are very grateful to ShareGift UK who recently donated £1000 to Small Steps!

ShareGift exists to provide a solution to the longstanding problem of unwanted small shareholdings. Millions of pounds are tied up in wasted assets, which are of no value to their owners because they cost more to sell than they are worth. ShareGift aggregates and sells these parcels of donated shares, giving the proceeds to a wide range of UK charities. Even if you have only one or two shares they can help you dispose of them – and charitably. Take a look at their website for information on how you could donate.

Lloyds Market Charity Awards 2012

We are very grateful to Mark Allan (April’s Dad) for nominating us for the Lloyds Market Charity Awards.  Small Steps was fortunate enough to receive £2000 from the awards recently.  

Ionian Weddings Sponsor Small Steps

Small Steps is delighted to announce that Ionian Weddings will be sponsoring us throughout 2013!

Ionian Weddings is an award-winning, south London based company that organises dream weddings in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta. With the average wedding abroad costing around a quarter of the price of a UK wedding, their philosophy is to provide bespoke weddings with highly personalised service at affordable prices, even at the luxury end of the market.

They have intimate, first-hand knowledge of their venues which range from private beaches and villas to castles, gardens and historic buildings, all with the added bonus of almost-guaranteed sunshine!

For every booking made Ionian Weddings will donate £5 to Small Steps. Give them a call to discuss your perfect day on 0208 892 7556 or go to www.ionianweddings.co.uk.

WINTER WEATHER UPDATE!!

We will notify families by phone if it is necessary to cancel sessions due to the poor weather.  Please also keep checking the website for updates.  Thanks.

Sessions begin on Tuesday 8th January 2013

We start sessions again on Tuesday 8th January… but there are no sessions on Thursday 10th or Friday 11th January as these are staff training days.
Any queries please contact the Small Steps office.

Anita Coppola receives an MBE!

We are delighted to announce that on 13th December 2012, Anita Coppola our Head of Service, received an MBE from The Prince of Wales, for ‘Services to Special Education’ specifically for her work with Small Steps.  Many congratulations to Anita for this immensely well deserved award!

Prince Charles awards Anita her MBE

GamesAid Fundraising Christmas Concert

Anita and Heather were delighted to attend the GamesAid “Games on Song” concert on 19th December.  It was a fantastic evening of Christmas songs performed by a choir made up entirely of people from the games industry. The event raised an amazing £12,000 for the GamesAid charities and Small Steps is delighted to have been one of the GamesAid chosen charities this year.

GamesAid award winners 2012 (Anita is at the back in a red and white stripes!)

Kew Village Market Stall

Well done to the team of Trustees and Anita, who donned their thermals and braved the cold manning the Small Steps stall at Kew Village Market on Sunday! Many Small Steps Christmas Puddings and decorations were sold raising a total of £695!

It was lovely to see some of our Small Steps families there and to catch up with our supporters from the Kew Rotary too. Many thanks to the Kew Village Market committee for having us!

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Great piece in the Wandsworth Guardian!

We are very pleased that the Wandsworth Guardian recently covered Charlotte Grobien’s story and mentions her recent donation to Small Steps! You can read the story here.

Yari takes on the Venice Marathon!

Many congratulations and a big thank you to Yari Fontebasso who recently completed the Venice marathon in aid of Small Steps!

This was Yari’s first marathon and he braved the cold, rain, strong winds and high waters in Venice and he finished 34th out of 5900 runners (chip time) in a total time of 2 hours 49 minutes.  Very impressive!!!
Here’s Yari with his thank you certificate from Small Steps…

 

Broadgate Mainland support Small Steps

Small Steps is delighted to have been chosen by Broadgate Mainland, the leading financial and professional services agency, as its nominated charity for the next twelve months.

Roland Cross, Director, Broadgate Mainland, says: “Small Steps is a great little charity helping children and parents of children with cerebral palsy and other motor disabilities and we are looking forward to supporting it over the next twelve months.”

Broadgate Mainland’s Charity Committee has organised a comprehensive fundraising programme for Small Steps which will be rolled out gradually over the next 12 months.  Further information and updates on fundraising will be posted on the Broadgate Mainland Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Gorgeous designer bracelets for Small Steps

Please take a look at LouMae designs website which showcases beautiful gemstone jewellery made by Carim, who used to come to Small Steps with her daughter Mia. Carim has designed some lovely charity bracelets complete with a Small Steps charm… they’d make a lovely Christmas present! Carim is generously donating 20% from sales of these bracelets to Small Steps.  We are very grateful to Carim for her ongoing support.

Charlotte Grobien generously donates to Small Steps

Small Steps was delighted to host a visit from Charlotte Grobien of
Give-it-Away‘ and to welcome her colleagues Michael Thom and Diana Greenham from Ashworths Solicitors, last week.  Charlotte is a very good friend to Small Steps and she was pleased to catch up with the Wednesday afternoon children (and their parents).

The ‘Give-it-Away’ mission has continued this past year with 3 cottages in Woking all being successfully sold just before the Summer.  The proceeds of these sales ensure that ‘Give-it-Away’ will top the £1 million mark, which was always it’s aim.

It proved to be quite an emotional afternoon when Charlotte presented Anita with the latest ‘Give-it-Away‘ pink envelope which contained a substantial donation made payable to Small Steps! We are overwhelmed by the generosity of this single donation…. and will ensure that it is put to very good use.

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Moshi Foundation support a Small Steps session

The Board at the Moshi Foundation love what we are doing here at Small Steps.  Consequently they are now sponsoring the Wednesday afternoon session this term.   Thank you so much!

 

Ingles Charity sponsor the Tuesday morning session

We are delighted that the Ingles Charitable Trust has once again chosen to sponsor a weekly session at Small Steps.  This term Ingles will be sponsoring the Tuesday morning session and Kate Kassar from Ingles, spent the morning with the children and parents recently.  Huge thanks to Kate and the Ingles Charitable Trust!

Kate Kassar with Tuesday morning children and parents

Fundraising Dance-a-thon for Small Steps!

The first ever Dance-a-thon in Kew took place on Saturday, October 13th, at The Queen’s Primary School in Kew.  Five hours of non-stop dancing to the most popular music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today, with professionally led choreographed sections featuring film and stage musicals, Bollywood, Street Dance, Pop, Rock and Zumba and more!  Special guest Anita Coppola took to the microphone to ‘MC’ the afteroon too!

The event was organised by Sona Nash who attended Small Steps with her son Rudi.  The Dance-a-thon is a fundraising event for Small Steps and Queen’s Primary School in Kew.  We are so grateful to Sona and everyone involved for organising such an enjoyable fundraiser for Small Steps!

Kew Village Market donates to Small Steps

Huge thanks to the Kew Village Market Committee for donating £500 to Small Steps. The Kew Village Market takes place one Sunday a month in Kew and all profits made by the sale of stall spaces etc. are donated to local charities. Over the past year they have donated over £5,500 to local charities from the profits raised from organising the event. Take a look at the Kew village Market website for more information.

Anita Coppola (far right) receives cheque presented by the Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Rita Palmer.

Arlo get’s a tattoo in aid of Small Steps!

One of our Small Steps Dad’s, Arlo, works with people with learning disabilities at an arts centre called The Gate. The guys at The Gate are keen fundraisers and this year they have kindly agreed to make their chosen charity Small Steps. Arlo has decided to start the ball rolling by getting a sponsored tattoo of Ruairi (who attends Small Steps) and his younger brother Loki. The tattoo has been designed by Mary, one of the attendees of the Gate who herself has a learning disability. All sponsorship raised will come to Small Steps. We are delighted that Arlo has raised over £1,200 and you can still sponsor Arlo for his brave venture on his Just Giving Page.

The original picture
The finished tattoo and proud Ruairi!

Bungee jump over water for Small Steps!

We are enormously grateful to Carolyn and Nat, Azaria’s Mum and Dad who did a sponsored Bungee jump for Small Steps on Saturday October 6th.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this was a very brave thing to take on… especially for Carolyn who told us before the jump  “I am absolutely petrified as have a fear of heights!! I’m not joking, I’m really scared, so would only do this for chairty – that said I’m really not sure I can do it once I get up there but will have to for the charities and for my daughter.”

Azaria

Azaria has been attending Small Steps for over 2 years now and Carolyn and Nat have decided to raise money to support Small Steps and SWAN which are two charities that are close to their hearts by doing a Bungee jump together over water.

Take a look at the video below to see exactly what they went through and please show your support and admiration for their bravery by sponsoring them whatever you can on their Virgin Money Giving site.

Thanks so much!

GamesAid donate £36,000 to Small Steps!

WONDERFUL NEWS!!! Small Steps are absolutely delighted to have been awarded a cheque for £36,000 from the charity GamesAid.

GamesAid is a UK video games industry based charity. It distributes funds to a diverse range of charities; it is a means of giving something back and all funds are raised by individuals who work in the video games industry.

Here at Small Steps we have been blown away by the generosity of GamesAid and it’s members. A heartfelt thanks to all involved and a special thank you to Marianne and Mum Janice and Dad Paul, who put us forward to GamesAid. This money really will make a huge difference to Small Steps.

Marianne and Mum Janice with Anita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Pell completes the London Triathlon

Our heartfelt congratulations and thanks go to Nick Pell (Anthea’s son) who successfully completed the London Triathlon on 22nd September at the Excel Centre, Royal Victoria Dock. Nick has set up a Virgin Money Giving page so you can still sponsor him… every penny counts!

   

Mulsanne’s ‘virtual triathlon’ for Small Steps

They did it!!! The guys and gals at Mulsanne ran, swam and cycled their hearts out in an attempt to raise £10k for Small Steps and completed their ‘virtual Triathlon’.

To achieve this amazing feat, each employee has been pushed well beyond their ordinary fitness levels; average distances undertaken were 5km swim, 150km cycle or 21km run.  Please show your support admiration for the Mulsanne employees and help them reach their £10,000 target by sponsoring them anything you can on their JustGiving page.  Thank you!

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Team REN run for Small Steps

A group of lovely people from REN Skincare (colleagues of Archie’s Mum, Hen) ran the British 10k on the 8th July.  They are hoping to raise a massive £10,000 for Small Steps from a number of fundraising events, so please show your support and make a donation their JustGiving page.  Thank you!

'Team REN'

Paul takes on another Ultramarathon

Small Steps supporter Paul Mott (who’s son Sam used to attend Small Steps), has recently returned from taking on yet another fundraising Ultramarathon, the Spartathlon in Greece. The race started in Athens and runs 250km to Sparta. Paul successfully completed this race last year, and although he wasn’t able to finish this year, just 2 months before he successfully completed the Al Andalus Ultra Trail in Andalucía, Spain which was 230km and 7,200 meters of ascent/descent over 5 days, in extreme heat.  He must be exhausted!!!

As you will know these gruelling challenges are all to raise funds for Small Steps and if you are able to donate please do so at Paul’s Just Giving site.

Paul Mott proudly wearing his Small Steps marathon gear!

 

We’re Moving!

After 14 very happy years at Greenmead School, Small Steps is now moving to a new building in Roehampton.  We’d like to say a huge thank you to the guys and gals from The Mulsanne Partnership who gave up their precious time to help pack, clean and shift boxes for us, and not forgetting the wonderful George, who made endless trips back and forth in his van.  We couldn’t have done it without you!  On to pastures new…

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Grainger PLC dress up for Small Steps

Grainger PLC in Putney hosted a sponsored ‘back to school day’ at work, which involved the whole of their office being in school attire/fancy dress for the full working day!  They have raised almost £2500 and we are delighted that they have chosen to donate the money raised via their Virgin Money Giving Page to Small Steps!  Thanks to everyone who took part and we look forward to seeing photographic evidence of the day!

 

Luca’s Auntie Sonia runs 5K!

Congratulations to Luca’s Auntie Sonia who successfully completed her 5k run last week! She is raising money for Small Steps via her JustGiving page, so please donate anything you can!

Paul’s Ultramarathon in Spain

For the last five years Paul Mott (who’s son Sam used to attend Small Steps) and his fellow Sandblasters team mates, have been taking part in a series of desert ultramarathons to raise money Small Steps.  So far with the continued generosity of their supporters, they have raised an incredible £403,000, making a huge difference to the service that the Small Steps team are able to offer. On July 9th Paul will commence the Al Andalus Ultra Trail in Andalucía, Spain – 230km and 7,200 meters of ascent/descent over 5 days, in extreme heat – no walk in the park! As always any donations to the Sandblasters JustGiving page are gratefully received and make all the difference.

Welcome to our website

We are very proud to launch the brand new Small Steps website! We think you’ll find the site easier to use, more helpful, and find lots of exciting up to the minute news about all that goes on at Small Steps.

However, this isn’t just about us talking to you. We want to hear your thoughts and suggestions too. Any comments would be gratefully received, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to let us know what you think of the new site.

The website will continue to develop over the next few months, so please keep checking back for new information and features!

Many thanks to Paul and Lesley from The Design Forum for creating our new site.  If you notice any issues with the new site, please let us know at info@smallsteps.org.uk.

Small Steps have moved!

Small Steps new address is 166 Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 4HR.  You can view a pdf map of our new location below:

Map of how to find us from September 2012

Kew Midsummer Fete 2012

We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the Kew Fete charities again this year! The Fete took place on 16th June on Kew Green.  It was a very windy day, but Small Steps braved the weather and staff and volunteers managed to hold on to the gazebo long enough to sell hundreds of delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts to raise funds on our stall! Thanks to everyone who came to see us and all those who helped on the day!

Sofia’s Mum completed the Blenheim Triathlon

Huge congratulations and thanks to Jane who successfully completed the Blenheim Triathlon on 10th June. Jane raised over £1500 for Small Steps at her JustGiving page.

 

Nick walks the South Downs Way

Between the 27th May and 1st June Nick Maddox (Alice’s Uncle) is walking The South Downs Way to raise money for Small Steps!

He will trek the length of The South Downs Way, a 100 mile trail from Winchester to Eastbourne through the South Downs National Park. He’s set himself the challenge of walking the trail in five days and will be camping along the route so will be carrying all the kit he needs. All of us at Small Steps wish Nick the best of luck.. we’ll be thinking of you all the way! You can sponsor Nick at http://www.justgiving.com/NickMaddox76

Nick on the South Downs Way

RSA’s Big Swim!

Three wonderful people, Caroline, Paul and Robert from RSA Insurance Group  (Liability Underwriting team based in London) have agreed to attempt to swim 1,000 metres at London Fields lido on Friday 1 June 2012. They have been training hard and are looking forward to the challenge but with your support we are sure it will spur them on.  Take a look at their Just Giving Page.

Ultra-Marathon for Small Steps!

Many of you will know that for the last five years our friends Paul Mott, Colin Lyall and team mates (AKA “The Sandblasters”), have been taking part in a series of desert ultramarathons to raise money for Small Steps.  So far with the continued generosity of thier supporters, the guys have raised an incredible £403,000, making a huge difference to the service that we at Small Steps are able to offer.

In May, both Paul and Colin signed up to run the ‘Wadi Rum’ in Jordan, another gruelling multi-marathon. Sadly Paul suffered an injury just before the race and was unable to compete.  However Colin went ahead to take part in this 6 day, 250 kilometer self-supporting endurance race.

We are so proud of Colin who successfully completed the race on 19th May, which is an absolutely amazing achievement.  Everyone at Small Steps is full of admiration! After the race Colin said “I can’t think of words to describe it. It’s probably the most grueling, challenging, difficult and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. And the pain is very quickly forgotten.”

The event requires a great amount of dedication with regards to training and certainly puts competitors physical and mental stamina to the test. With up to 15kg on their backs, they will experience mid-day temperatures of up to 40 degrees whilst trying to navigate across uneven rocky, stony ground as well as climbing some of the largest sand dunes and mountains in Jordan.

You can still support Paul and Colin in their fundraising for Small Steps with a donation of any size.  To make a donation please visit their JustGiving page.

 

 

 

 

Small Steps Cake Stall at Richmond May Fair

We had an amazing day at Richmond May Fair on Saturday 12th May raising over £900 for Small Steps.  The sun was shining and we have never been busier, cakes were flying off the tables and we’d completely sold out of lemonade by early afternoon!   Thank you to all the parents and friends who made cakes, came and helped sell on the stall and everybody who came to visit us on the day.  There was a great atmosphere all day… can’t wait for next year!

Special Children’s Day announced at London Zoo

This year’s Special Children’s Day takes place at London Zoo on 19th May 2012. It’s a fantastic day out for children with special needs and their families. Put it in your diary!

Special Children's day

 

 

Harrodian School wins £1000 for Small Steps!

A big thank you to Harrodian School who won £1000 for Small Steps through the YPI scheme on 14th March!   http://www.goypi.org/CA/

Responsible Business Exhibition 2012

Link to Resesponsible Business Exhibition 2012

Small Steps will be exhibiting at the Responsible Business Exhibition 2012, being held at the Business Design Centre, London on 14 -15 March.

Responsible Business 2012 is a two-day, not-for-profit event developed through a strategic partnership between UBM and Business in the Community (BITC) consisting of the Responsible Business Exhibition and the BITC Responsible Business Convention.

“74% of the British public think that social and environmental reputation is important when buying a product or service.” psosMORI, September 2009.

If you are interested in attending, please use the link below.

 

The Tommy Hollis Children’s Fund sponsors our Tuesday morning session

We are delighted to announce that the Tommy Hollis Children’s Fund are sponsoring our Tuesday morning session ‘Tommy Time’. Many thanks to Kate and Chris Hollis for their kind donation to Small Steps.

 

 

 

 

The SLSLC London to Brighton Run

Small Steps were lukcy enough to be this year’s charity for the South London and Surrey Land Rover Club’s London to Brighton Run! The event raised over £500 and still counting! Many thanks to everyone at SLSLRC for all their hard work.

Fantastic article written by Small Steps Parent for ‘The Guardian’

Jess Moxham (Sam’s Mum) posted a great piece ” My son’s specialist care is under threat” on The Guardian newspaper website on October 26th…. Click here to read the full article. A big thank you to Jess for her support from us all here at Small Steps!

LouMae Bracelets

These lovely bracelets have been made by Carim Seaborn, (Mia’s Mum), who used to attend Small Steps.. a percentage of each ‘Footsteps’ bracelet sold will be donated to us… please take a look at her website for more information…www.loumaedesigns.com

Cornflower Blue Accessories

Thank you so much to Louisa Greenacre from Cornflower BlueAccessories who has kindly donated £150 to Small Steps… www.cornflowerblue-kew.com