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Maria Macnamara MBE, DUniv (Open) – Founder

Maria launched Smalls for All® in 2010. She had worked in financial services for almost 20 years when, in 2004, she decided to try a different kind of holiday and spent three weeks working with children in an orphanage in Brazil. This encouraged her to volunteer in Thailand in 2006 and Ethiopia in 2009.

It was following her experience in Ethiopia that she decided to set up Smalls.

In 2016, Maria gave up full-time employment to spend more time running the charity, and her work has attracted some high-profile recognition. In 2015, former Prime Minister David Cameron named her as a ‘point of light’ for her work as a volunteer. In 2016, she was awarded an MBE for services to charity and women’s health in Africa. And, more recently, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of the University by the Open University.