Meet Our Team
If you would like to contact with of the Small Steps Project team please contact email@example.com
Amy Hanson - Small Steps Project Director
I am the founder of The Small Steps Project. After my first visit to the Stung Meanchey Dump, In Cambodia, where I saw hundreds of barefoot impoverished children scavenging in waste, I have been delivering emergency aid projects to children and communities on dumps all over the world.
I direct and produce the documentaries to create awareness and campaign against the unacceptable conditions in which these children live.
I also head up the UK Fundraising, The London Celebrity Shoe Auction and the Press & PR, using my skills as a former Celebrity Journalist to help generate publicty about an issue that is neglected in the media.
To contact Amy click here.
Thomas phillips - Trustee
Initially I got involved in writing and producing the music for the first documentary. I then helped build the website and, as the project has grown, I have been involved not only with the production of the documentaries but with the running of the project in the UK and the fundraising. I have composed the music for each of the documentaries that the charity has produced.
Contact Thomas here
Dr Tom Daubeny - Trustee
With a strong interest in international health and a great belief in the project I was very excited to be approached by Amy to become a trustee and set up the medical side to the project.
I am currently training in anaesthetics and acute care and have experience setting up aid programs in Afghanistan and working in Guadeloupe and Sri Lanka. Small Steps provides a fantastic platform to find out the poorly understood problems faced by the often neglected communities reliant on refuse dumps.
I am very excited to be able to give my time and bring together a group of volunteers who have the expertise and enthusiasm to work in this challenging area.
For all medical enquiries contact Tom here
Phillip Kerry - Trustee
My background is in education and youth work- firstly as a secondary school mathematics teacher, including two years in Eritrea through VSO, and more recently in informal education with 16-25year olds in a range of settings. As a trustee for small steps I advise on all operations, governance and financial matters as well as trying to help wherever I can.
Michele Hanson - Trustee
I have known about and supported Amy's work in building up this charity from the very beginning, and like her, have been shocked to discover how many children work and live on rubbish dumps, often from a very young age. I am impressed with her determination to help scavenger children and her success in doing so and raising the profile of these neglected communities.
Having spent 25 years teaching and 30 as a Journalist, often writing about social problems and inequality, I am outraged at the way in which these children are forced to live and I want to help them off the dumps and into education and a better life. I have become more involved as the charity has grown, and become more established and effective. As a Trustee Itry to use my platform as a columnist and freelance features writer to help raise the profile of the charity, I also help with publicity, writing and editing as well as advising on projects.
For press & media enquiries contact Michele here
Lucas Orme - Camera man & photographer
I first heard about Small Steps Project through Facebook as Amy has been a friend of mine for years. I saw her singlehandedly organise the first aid distribution in Phnom Penh via her updates and ultimately the documentary premiere at Soho House. It captured my imagination and compelled me to do what I could to help her set up the organisation, share the workload and sustain the momentum that she was generating.
With a background in educational project management, community liaison and English Language teaching, as well as being a cameraman, I volunteered, and have been supporting her and the charity ever since. I am the Small Steps Nicaragua Documentary camera man and have been the Small Steps Project photographer since its conception as well as project co ordinating in both the UK and in the field overseas.
Hannah Hughes - Project Manager
I got involved with Small Steps after reading an interview about the charity and got in touch straight away. Having travelled in India and South America my eyes had been opened to some desperate situations and by volunteering with Small Steps I can now actively do something to help. I started as a volunteer and later won a placement with the Vodafone World of Difference programme.
During my time working with Small Steps I have worked on overseas projects in Nicaragua, Cambodia and Timor and have carried out research in Guatemala and Honduras. I now assist Amy with fundraising, events and managing volunteers in the UK and co-ordinating overseas projects. I am often first point of contact with volunteers and new team members.
For volunteer enquiries or questions for Amy Hanson contact Hannah here
Alexandra Smith - Events Co ordinator
I’ve been working in the events industry for over 15 years and run my own event management company, Plain Jane Events. Over the years I have seen a huge amount of ‘bespoke’ theming being thrown away instead of recycled or up-cycled. I decided very quickly that this was something I wanted to try and avoid in my own business. When I heard about the Small Steps Project I was inspired by their work and saw it as a great cause to get involved with, whilst at the same time making every effort to minimise the amount of waste generated by the event industry, in my day job!
As Events Director for Small Steps, I organise all aspects of the yearly fundraising event - the Small Steps Project Celebrity Shoe Auction, from venue and catering; entertainment and ticketing to creating exciting new ways to display our celebrity shoes, alongside an amazing team of volunteers.
Having travelled to Cambodia with the charity in 2012 to help with 2 dump projects, I have seen first-hand the impact our western waste has on the families living there. Children’s lives are taken up with scavenging for plastic bottles and tin cans to sell for no more than a few pennies. The Small Steps Project offers a way out for these children, getting them off the dumps and into school and hopefully onto a better life. If my contribution can save just one child from a life on the dump, it will be worth it.
For all events related enquiries contact Alex here
Edward Rolfe - Editor and Camera man
My background is filming and video editing in corporate and broadcast but I have also run courses in filmmaking for young people and made films internationally for other respected charities. I am part of the group that put together the films that showcase the fantastic work that Small Steps Project are able to do.
Through mutual friends I became aware of Small Steps Project and the work that Amy does and was excited to be able to get involved in a small way, helping wade through the masses of footage that had been filmed of previous projects. Over time my involvement has grown so that I am now pleased to be seen as a fully fledged member of the team.
I volunteer with Small Steps because of my belief in the work that they do and the impact they can have on the lives of some of the least fortunate children in the world.
Rinchen Lucy - Creative Director of Photography
Currently working as a Photographer's Agent at Santucci & Co. my aspiration is to help create visionary work in all aspects of the creative industries. Brought up in England I graduated in Photographic Arts from the University of Westminster.
As Creative Director of photography for the charity, selecting and commissioning the photographic briefs and photographers for the distribution trips is an integral part of my role. I have helped to edit, organise and develop the existing visual content on the website and blog and consult on the Press and PR imagery. I also curated both photographic exhibitions that accompanied the Celebrity Shoe Auctions.
Having travelled to East Asia since I was two years old, and with many of my family living in third world countries, I know how great an impact the work of charities like Small Steps Project can be and am so happy to be able to contribute in what ever way I can.
For all photography related enquiries contact Rinchen here
Paula Harper - Project Volunteer (UK) Early Years Provisons Consultant (Cambodia)
I first heard about small steps project when I went along to watch the first documentary. It touched me seeing these children with bare feet walking around on the rubbish dumps.
Then at the shoe auction 2011 I saw the second documentary and this time I DID do something to help. As well as donating I started volunteering in the UK with fundraising and as a celebrity shoe hunter, as well as working in the SSP office doing research and admin. I helped raise funds for the project and got some great celebrity shoes for the 2012 auction but I still felt I could do even more.
I have been a nursery nurse for 10 years in a private nursery and worked with kids in other areas for 12 years. It struck me these kids that I saw in the documentaries are just like the kids I look after, I just felt that it wasn’t right. I wanted to use my skills to help children without the same privileges as the children I was paid to look after. So I am now in Cambodia working with SSP to set up nursery provisions for poor, scavenger and disabled children and am looking forward to setting up a provision for the dump community in the New Year.
Contact Paula here
Jen Goodall - Project Volunteer
I first heard about Small Steps on Facebook! When reading about Amy’s work I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of this project and contacted her immediately. I currently work for a magazine and outside of work I dedicate my time to Small Steps as a fundraiser and project co-ordinator in the field on the dump projects. I love being a member of Small Steps and it has changed my outlook on life and made me a better person who wants to only help others less fortunate than myself and raise awareness to how we can all do small things to help.
Contact Jen here
Ben Côté - Fundraisng Events Volunteer
As a freelance set designer and ’maker’ for projects varying from short films to commercials and music promos I have been honoured to be involved in the planning and presentation of the Celebrity Shoe Auctions and events in the UK for the Small Steps Project.
It has been inspiring to see how, in a couple of years the idea for Small Steps has developed to form what it is now and how it has attracted such passionate people who really want to be a part of what it’s striving to achieve. Hats off to them!
You can read more about Ben's work here.
Hannah Birkbeck - UK Fundraising Volunteer
I'm a Design and Marketing PA for a midlands based design agency. I wanted to get involved with a charity as a volunteer outside of work and had been looking at local projects in the midlands. I then came across the work Small Steps Project online. I was moved by the project and was shocked to see that there are children across the world who live on rubbish dumps and for many the only way they can get an education is by owning a pair of shoes.
It has opened my eyes to a completely different world and the hardship these children face everyday. Being a volunteer for Small Steps is so rewarding and you actually see the difference you make through the films which makes it all the worthwhile.
Contact Hannah here
Harold Brunger - Head of Accounts
My wife first showed me the article in Grazia about the Small Steps Project and I thought then that I admired somebody who could give up a position as a Celebrity Journalist, with a national newspaper, to setup and run a charity devoted to children living on rubbish dumps. A year later I was approached by a current volunteer to see if I was prepared to do some work for a charity. To my surprise the charity was Small Steps Project and I was only to delighted to get involved.
I am a qualified accountant and I prepare the accounts, budgets, gift aid and the statutory documentation. My work for the charity may be regarded by some as routine but I assure you it is so rewarding especially to see the time and effort Amy, her volunteers and the trustees put into running Small Steps Project.
For all accounts and donation related queries contact Harold here
Emma Cowles - Business Development & Sales
I attended the Small Steps 2011 Celebrity Shoe Auction where I saw the documentary premier of Small Steps Nicaragua. The film exposed the sever hardships faced by scavenger communities living on rubbish dumps. It was immediately evident that these communities were living in a literal hell on earth, vulnerable and forgotten with the lowest quality of life I have ever witnessed. The emotion stirred in me through watching the film was impossible to ignore, I had to get involved and do what I could.
I first donated by out-bidding myself on a pair of Joanna Lumley's shoes! After the event I aoffered my services as a Business Development & Sales Manager. Since the 2011 Celebrity shoe auction I have played an active role in the charity by training & motivating volunteers during fundraising events - ensuring we maximise the funds raised. Additionally I have helped by approaching & liaising with companies & contacts to secure donations of their services, such as a TEXT to donate facility.
The problems faced by landfill inhabitants are shockingly huge and is often completely un-seen. SSP identifies the immediate needs of the scavenger communities and provides real solutions. While it's only Small Steps we are taking - Giant leaps are being made to get kids off dumps and into schools.
Irene Crowley - Project Volunteer
I have a strong interest in helping children and got involved with Small Steps after reading an interview about it in Grazia magazine. I followed the link to the charity’s website and watched the documentary on Cambodia. It shocked me. I have nephews as young as the children in the film and seeing the children out there in such a desperate state compelled me to get in touch with Amy and offer to help in any way I could.
A few years ago, I travelled to South Africa with a group of volunteers from an Irish children’s charity to help build an extension onto a primary school in a remote part of Lesotho. That experience inspired me to volunteer more so I was delighted to be able to help out the Small Steps Team. I fundraise as much as possible particularly at SS events held throughout the year. My main role is to assist in researching, planning and organizing events and projects. It is a great charity to work with and seeing the difference it makes to children’s lives only reinforces the fact that it all starts with small steps.