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Archway charity fetches £4,500 for Tom Hiddleston’s trainers

Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman arriving for the World Premiere of Thor : Dark World, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman arriving for the World Premiere of Thor : Dark World, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

Saturday, December 21, 2013
12:00 PM

A dedicated fan paid £4,500 for a pair of actor Tom Hiddleston’s trainers in a charity auction – hundreds of pounds more than was fetched for the footwear offered for sale from Mick Jagger, Madonna and Kylie Minogue.

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The Small Steps Project in Archway put 120 pairs of the celebrities’ shoes under the hammer last week to give the public the chance to walk like their favourite stars, while raising funds to support families who live on rubbish dumps in developing countries.

The Avengers actor Hiddleston’s blue size 11 Converse trainers were originally listed at online auction site eBay for just 1p, but quickly received more than 100 bids with people offering thousands of pounds.

Miracle

The second biggest spend was £3,705 for Rolling Stone Mick Jagger’s signed Reebok trainers, with the lowest for trainers owned by 2012 X Factor contestant Kye Sones, which made £24.

Lucky buyers also walked away with designer heels worn by the likes of supermodel Kate Moss, actresses Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet and Emma Watson, singer Nicole Scherzinger and trainers from tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Actor James Purefoy, the charity’s celebrity ambassador, said: “What Small Steps have achieved in their relatively brief existence is akin to a minor, but beautiful, miracle.

“They have turned lives around. I am proud and humbled to be associated with them.”

All of the money raised will go to Small Steps Project, which is based in Waterlow Road, to help it to provide resources for some of the world’s most vulnerable children who are forced to survive by scavenging in dumps.

Founder and CEO Amy Hanson, who was a journalist before she set up the charity, said: “I realised if every celebrity I had ever interviewed would donate a pair of their shoes, I could auction them and use the funds to provide shoes to those who really needed them.

“It’s rebalancing the wealth of the super rich to the super poor in a simple step. I was overwhelmed by the response of the celebrities and I still am.”

Ms Hanson added: “I think it’s fantastic that celebrities are using their profile to shine a light on what is a neglected area in the media and helping to raise funds so that we can help children take small steps off the dumps and into education.”

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 80,000 people survive on rubbish in the “Korah” city dump, which translates as “cursed”. A similar dump in Lagos, Nigeria, has 1,000 young people living in appalling conditions.

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