Founded in 2013 to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children, mainly Young Carers, living in Dover to take part in a wide range of creative activities and experiences to boost their confidence, enhance their wellbeing, raise their aspirations and widen their outlook on the world. With a small pot of funding the charity started running groups for Young Carers aged 5 to 18, so they could support children like Amy, who came to Smart when she was just 11 years old. She was caring for her brother with learning difficulties and her mum who has a heart condition. Amy was an exhausted, withdrawn young girl, who was struggling at school. With the help of Smart giving her the opportunity to relax and just be a child for a few hours a week, she now attends university where she is chasing her dream of being a Vet.
As the charity evolved it began similar work with other age groups, setting up a weekly group for older people who may be isolated in the community and those living with a dementia, like Michael who is living with the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. His wife Sarah cares for him and they both come along to our group, it has given them new friendships, relaxation through the art activities they take part in and confidence to be part of their community so Michael can live well with his condition.
The charity is registered with the charity commission and works to its smART Policies.