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About SMart

SMart Network was established in September 2000 to empower socially marginalised people through creative activities, both to engage them in the wider community and to find pathways to social integration. SMart Network was founded and developed by arts facilitator Jaime Bautista who has more than 30 years’ experience working with severely disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad. SMart has been the benchmark for over 10 years, for its rehabilitation of individuals through artistic endeavour, as well as for changing negative perceptions of the public.

Though SMart uses art as its main medium for facilitating the self-development of its members, art is by no means the only skill that is developed. Social skills, enterprise, engagement in positive activities, self- presentation are all skills promoted by SMart. SMart is also committed to educating the communities in which it operates about its activities and changes the negative public perception about socially marginalized people.

By facilitating the self-development of the socially marginalized SMart takes people from a state of financial reliance on social services and the community to one of self-dependence.

SMart has very clear and focused objectives:

· To be the principal agent for the marketing of the work of homeless and socially excluded people working in a professional manner.

· To be an effective means of publicizing the social issues raised by homelessness and socially marginalized people, in order to increase public awareness.

· To be an influential pressure group, capable of bringing significant pressure to bear on government and industry, and the community at large.

· To spread SMart philosophy and inspire to create new projects and support and help to develop existing ones.

· To contribute to get rid of the negative stigmas of homeless, jobless or mentally ill people carry as their ID, to help them to regain their real identity as people.

Our experience has shown us that people’s needs are more than shelter, food, and financial assistance.

When people’s lives lack social structure, constructive activities and active participation in the community they are at risk of losing their home, becoming alcohol and/or drug abusers, or developing mental health problems. Therefore it is essential to engage them in constructive activities on a regular basis to provide them with a sense of belonging in their community.

Jaime Bautista
Jaime-WinningJAIME BAUTISTA was born in Colombia, an ex-student of Civil Engineering and a self-taught artist. Amongst working with conventional art mediums he has also developed a special technique for his models and pictures with a material normally associated with kindergarten use – Plasticine. Not only did he develop this technique in the artistic sense, he went further and at the Foundation Children’s Hospital for over a year and a half, he developed and applied a rehabilitation programme for children with learning difficulties, with excellent results. He also developed teaching programmes for able and disabled children and adults, which are still in use.
He has organised a number of conferences and practical art workshops in Colombia and other Countries including the UK, India and Sri-Lanka for teachers, art students, disabled people, psychologists, occupational therapists, experts in special education, corporate and public sector employees.
“I believe that what I can achieve with my work is to bring the best out of people. I focus on people’s abilities and not their disabilities. My work helps to mend fragmented lives helping them to put the pieces together through developing self-confidence, self-esteem and more importantly helping them to regain their self-belief and awareness of their potential.”

SMart Network has won numerous awards and accolades throughout the years and continue to do so. Most recently Jaime Bautista was awarded by the Prime Minister David Cameron with the Point of Light, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

In June 2012 Jaime and SMart Network were recognized “for the outstanding volunteering work from the Westminster Council”. In 2011, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson presented SMart with the Team London award for “outstanding contribution to improving London and the quality of life for Londoners”.

Jaime is a full time volunteer at SMart Network.

Featured Artist

Jimmy Dixon was born in England, but was sent away to a children’s home in Australia at the age of six. When Jimmy was twenty, he returned to England and applied for a place at the Royal College of Art. He was not accepted. “They told me I would never be good enough.” Since then Jimmy has exhibited his work at St. Johns crypt in Waterloo and many other places.

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