We are raising funds to help renovate and reopen The Café of Good Hope in Hither Green, after it suffered a flood in September that’s left it empty and in disrepair due to the damage.
We opened The Café of Good Hope in 2010 as a way to help fund the work of our charity, For Jimmy, which was established after the murder of our son and brother Jimmy Mizen in 2008. The café was first opened as a way to make our charities work sustainable, while offering a community hub for the people of Hither Green.
It didn’t take long for us to realise the potential for it to give young people opportunities through work experience, training and apprenticeships. Over the past five years it’s become a great tool for young people starting off their work life, and they’ve done such a great job. In 2014 The Café of Good Hope was voted the best café in SE13 by Time Out.
In 2012, we also partnered with Drumbeat School and ASD Services to provide personalised placements for young people with Autism, enabling them to experience the workplace and acquire a range of essential skills. This work has family significance too as our sister and daughter Sammy Mizen has Downs Syndrome. Before Jimmy died we actually wanted to open a café in Ladywell, to provide a space for young people with special needs and their parents. We’ve now come full circle, being able to offer those opportunities to Drumbeat pupils.
Due to the flood, the café requires a complete refit. Luckily for us, our friends at Bread Collective have put together some beautiful designs for a brand new café. This will provide a varied space where people can work, eat lunch or simply read a book with a coffee and slice of cake.
This new space will also be the perfect environment for us to relaunch and expand our work with young people on work experience, training programmes and pupils from Drumbeat School & ASD Services to gain those skills and experience they need to gain further employment.
The café was opened after Jimmy’s death to give a message of hope to the local community. For that reason, we've simplified the name to Good Hope. This is a message we want to continue spreading, that every young person deserves to be loved, valued and given positive opportunities.
In January, the building work will be carried out to create our lovely new Good Hope Café. We'll then have our launch party at the end of the month where we'll invite some of you to join us, and a host of other guests to help celebrate the reopening. After the celebrations, we will launch our new set of training programmes for young people in Lewisham and will welcome Drumbeat pupils back to the Good Hope Café.
When we opened The Café of Good Hope in 2010, we were overwhelmed by the support of the local community and are so proud of how far it's come. Not only providing the local community with great coffee and delicious food, but giving young people in Lewisham opportunities and training that has led to many going into full and part-time work. We can't wait for you to see the new cafe and are really excited to welcome our young people back for the next stage of Good Hope Café.
To find out more visit our website here. Don't forget to share your pledges on social media @forjimmyHQ
"I knew of For Jimmy before, but not as much as I do now. It seemed like a really nice place. I’ve learnt that young people who aren’t as fortunate as me, or don’t have a supportive family like I do — what a negative impact that can have on their lives. For me, For Jimmy is about how we can change that for the better, and make people happier." Ellie Nevin has worked in The Café of Good Hope for two years.
“The Mizens are convinced, as I have been for so long, that part of the solution is in providing many more structured, constructive, challenging and adventurous opportunities for young people.” Prince Charles
"I think it is wonderful. Those kids were drinking it in. It’s a modern day tragedy that so many of our young people are struggling in this city. Often ill-equipped to get a foothold in the jobs market, it is our duty to ensure that they have the necessary life skills to help deter them from falling into a cycle of crime." Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Following the murder of our son Jimmy Mizen in May 2008, we as a family have been determined of two outcomes; we will not be beaten by his death and that something good will come from it.For Jimmy works to make young people safer by building a legacy of peace in Jimmy’s memory. We do this by creating unique projects that take young people beyond the school gates.