Jimmy Mizen ‘hope’ cafe wins business award

Pic: Jimmy Mizen Foundation

A local coffee shop set up by the parents of a murdered teenager has recieved an award for excellence in social enterprise from the Mayor of Lewisham.

Sir Steve Bullock presented the ‘Mayor of Lewisham Business Award’ to the Cafe of Good Hope, which is run by the Jimmy Mizen Foundation.

The Foundation was set up by the parents of the murdered schoolboy in his memory. Jimmy Mizen was 16 when he was killed in the Three Cooks Bakery in Lee in May 2008 around the corner from his family home.

Jake Fahri, 19, of Lee, was later convicted of his murder and sentenced to life in prison, of which he will serve at least 14 years.

Billy Mizen, Jimmy’s father, said: ”We are very happy that our hard work is recognised by Lewisham in the social enterprise category. We believe the reason our cafe won this award is the relationship we built between local communities and people.

“This is not only a cafe but also a safe environment for socialising. It is open for everybody but especially for parents with children, young people. We always have different events for our local community. It really is about Hither Green.’

Pic: Duygu Saykan

The cafe aims to help young people play a positive role in their community and supports a number of community projects that run in the area. The Mizens recently invited Street Souls, a local scheme that aims to help the homeless, to operate from their venue.

Street Souls volunteers give out hot food and drinks, clothes and sleeping bags to homeless people throughout London. The project is run by the Coombe Trust children’s charity.

David Coombe, owner of the Coombe Trust, said: “I started doing this five years ago, along with my five sons. Starting from 7am in the morning till 7pm in the evening we distributed sandwiches, soup and sleeping bags all around London. Day by day friends, relatives and other people started to get involved with what we are doing. Just being here with us is the whole motivation.”

The Foundation is currently trying to raise finance to support local scouting organisations and arrange apprenticeship placements with Leathermarket JMB, a tenant management organisation. They have also set up the Awareness Project, which aims to address the consequences of violent crime.

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