Barry and Margaret MIzen
The Jimmy Mizen campaign has achieved a great deal this year - in spite of setbacks - a flood, a break-in and illness - and they have announced some exciting plans for the new year.
A charity café set up in southeast London in memory of murdered schoolboy Jimmy Mizen, was broken into on Sunday. The Ten Thousand Hands Café in Lewisham, run by Jimmy's brother Tommy, trains young people including those with autism as well as providing a community facility. But on Sunday around £6,000 worth of equipment was stolen, including a coffee machine and a panini maker. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise enough money to replace the items.
Jimmy died in 2008 after teenager Jake Fahri hurled a glass dish at him in a bakery in Lee Green. A shard cut his throat and he bled to death. Since Fahri's conviction in 2009, Jimmy's parents Margaret and Barry Mizen have been campaigning to end violence in the capital through the Jimmy Mizen Foundation. The Ten Thousand Hands is one of three cafés set up in memory of their son
In their Christmas message Jimmy and Barry write: "We have been so humbled by the support of the community, who have rallied together to raise the funds needed to help us replace equipment and get the cafe ready to reopen in the new year. "
The past year has not been easy for the family as Margaret, who was awarded an MBE in 2014, was diagnosed with cancer this summer and has undergone two operations and now chemotherapy. But Margaret continues to be very positive. She writes:
"The year began with us completing programmes and building Safe Havens with six primary and secondary schools in Lewisham and surrounding boroughs with 150 young people. We were so honoured to be recognised for this work with a commendation from The Charity Awards 2016, shortlisting for The Pride of Britain Award and winning The Charity Times Community Award.
Alongside our work in schools, Barry and I continued to share Jimmy's story across the UK and our Good Hope cafés had an exciting year. At the beginning of 2016 we refurbished and reopened Good Hope in Hither Green after it suffered a flood and more recently we've just launched a new Good Hope café, as part of the PLACE / Ladywell housing development for homeless families in Lewisham.
"My life is dedicated to keeping Jimmy's legacy alive for all our dear young people and to make this a safer, more peaceful world. At the heart of all that we do, our young people must know they are loved and I believe that they have the power to bring the change to make this a better world.
"Over the past year, times have been tough for the charity and I'd like to thank you on behalf of everyone at the charity for all that you do for us.
From myself, Barry and the whole team at For Jimmy, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to sharing our exciting plans for 2017 with you in the new year!"
To donate to the Jimmy Mizen Foundation see: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/JimmyMizenSophie?utm