Project information

Small Steps

Small Steps supports disabled children & their parents by helping children to develop skills across all areas, though a focus on the physical, whilst supporting parents in their emotional journeys of having a child with disabilities. Our children have Cerebral Palsy or a similar motor impairment.


Charity information: Small Steps

Small Steps logo
  • Need


    New parents of babies with complex medical issues feel isolated, vulnerable & alone in their experiences. The medical approach is fragmented - ad hoc, infrequent, negative - what the child will never achieve. It's overwhelming. Small Steps sessions focus on the whole child, the whole family, providing strategies for parents to help their children. Therapy and play will be combined in consistent, regular, weekly sessions. The focus is on the positive - what the child can & will achieve.


    Small Steps sessions provide structured, therapeutic sessions for young disabled children, led & supported by professional team including physiotherapists & teachers. Parents will be hands-on with their own child during sessions. They are empowered, by learning the skills / strategies themselves to help their own child, leading to less dependency in future years. The outcomes for the children are in terms of improved physical, communication & self help/independence skills and abilities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help young disabled children to develop skills across all areas, though a focus on the physical.


    » Structured group sessions delivering physical tasks & activities combined with motivating play experiences & incorporated into daily routines.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increased tolerance of more activities eg. lying in prone (on tummy) and increased upright ability by at least 5 New Steps children.

    Aim 2

    To support the parents in their emotional journeys of having a disabled child.


    » Parents are hands on with own child, learning skills to utilise through the daily routine, hence empowered. They meet others sharing same experiences.

    What success will look like

    Success will be at least 5 parents returning each week to a session and giving verbal recognition to what their child has achieved.

  • Impact


    Small Steps sessions bring improved physical, communication and self help /independence outcomes. This will be demonstrated by more children actively succeeding in mainstream schools & more children with complex, profound needs accessing life-enriching experiences.
    For parents, it will mean more knowledge, increased acceptance and less dependency in future years.


    There are three main risks facing the charity: key personnel reliance; accommodation and funding. The charity employs a small team of permanent staff, the absence of any one would have a disruptive effect. The charity does not have security of tenure in its current premises and the charity is reliant on voluntary donations, grants and events to gain its income - there is no secure funding stream. Solutions include utilising good volunteers, negotiating a lease and a fundraising strategy.


    Donors will be invited in to observe sessions & meet the children. They will receive photographic evidence and written reports as well as being kept abreast of progress and activity via the website and the use of social media.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £234,765

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £193,125 salaries staffing - physio, conductors, teacher, administration
      £24,000 overheads insurance, premises
      £17,640 equipment, office, training, publicity, stationary, equipment, resources

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Children In Need grant £26,000 Guaranteed
    Children & Young Person's Grant £5,000 Guaranteed
    Mulsanne Event £10,000 Conditional
    Ingles Foundation £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project takes places in Roehampton, though the catchment area covers 19 different London Boroughs.


    Disability affects across social and professional boundaries i.e. it is random. The range of need of children accessing the project is from those high-functioning, cognitively able children with physically damaged bodies to those with more complex and profound medical issues including sensory impairments and seizures. All the children have a physical need. Parents too include high-functioning, well placed individuals as well as those more hard-to-reach families with english as a second language.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Small Steps was established in 1998 with 3 local children, all of whom had cerebral palsy. It has expanded year on year to meet a wider range of children's needs and from across a wider catchment area. Small Steps is now well established in the field of early intervention and conductive education, with referrals from community therapy teams as well as paediatricians and portage support workers. We're included in Local Authority strategic plans and retain our own business development plans.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Anthea Pell

    Anthea is the physiotherapist, who has been at Small Steps since it was first established in 1998. She is extremely qualified and hugely professional.

    Ruth Evans

    Ruth the Administrator. She too has been involved since the early days, initially attending sessions with her own son who has cerebral palsy.

    Eszter Boross

    Conductor-Teacher. Warm, empathetic and inclusive, always with a 'can do' attitude.


For equipment to help children learning to walk

"Small Steps has given Mia and I valuable experiences & opened up our world to the possibilities of Mia progressing. "

Mother of a child who attended Small Steps sessions