Karen - SMILE Board Director
“We are providing those little extras that make a big difference to the happiness and success in the lives of children and young people living in poverty.”

- Karen

Why Karen Cruise Founded SMILE...

Back in October 2020 whilst coaching one of the young people I had worked with for a while I discovered his love of reading. I queried how this passion came about and the conversation led to how they saw this as a way of escapism from their real world.

In their real world they had no books, stationery, internet; they were living in abject poverty. This young child talked about lack of food, heating, shoes, toys, games. I found myself being in awe of this young child.  Eloquent, oozing potential, with a creative mind, yet hampered by a lack of basic fundamentals that lots of us take for granted...