‘We are determined to work for change. It is our passion now’

Barry and Margaret Mizen with Alan Curbishley

BY CALUM FRASER
shuz@slpmedia.co.uk

Almost a decade on from his brutal murder, the parents of Jimmy Mizen say they have not been defeated by his death.

In May 2008 Barry and Margaret Mizen’s world was shattered when they lost their 16-year-old son, stabbed to death in Lee Green.

Since then Mr and Mrs Mizen have used their tragedy to try and mobilise communities to tackle youth crime through their charity For Jimmy.

Mr Mizen said: “We are determined to work for change, we believe we are making a difference. It is our life now, it is our passion.

“We haven’t been beaten and something good is coming from this. We are calling for a community response, you can’t wait for someone else to solve this problem.”

Jimmy Mizen with dad Barry

For Jimmy is a registered charity set up to help vulnerable children. Over the past decade the couple have campaigned up and down the country in schools, prisons and public meetings.

Mrs Mizen said: “Our son went out on a Saturday lunchtime to his local shop and never came home again, and I will never forget that. We must increase the safety in our community and in our streets.

When Jimmy was killed we went straight to work. We were just mum and dad before then, but now we’re on a mission.”

The couple are spearheading a drive towards creating their Safe Havens for children where they can escape from harassment.

Any business or public venue can volunteer to become a Safe Haven, once they have done this children can retreat there and a responsible adult will seek out the appropriate help.

Another aspect of the couple’s work is setting up Good Hope cafes. These are community focused cafes hosting weekly events and employing young residents.

Mrs Mizen said: “This money will help us get our programme into schools. It’s simple, the more donations we get the more work we can do.”

Barry and Margaret

Alan Curbishley was manager at Charlton Athletic FC when Jimmy was murdered and he remembers the incident well.

As a patron of the Axis Foundation, which contributues to more than 110 charities, causes and individuals who make an impact in the local community Mr Curbishley handed over a check worth £5,000 to For Jimmy on Wednesday of last week. He said: “It was a shocking thing. Whenever the incident is mentioned people know about it.

“What is so inspiring about the Mezin’s is that they have tried to do something positive about the experience, because a lot of people wouldn’t if it happened to them.

“In grass roots schemes like For Jimmy this kind of money can make a big difference.

“The only way forward is education, knife crime is a serious problem and it is getting worse.”

For more information or to donate visit www.forjimmy.org

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