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 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.
“Working in the cafés has made me more confident; something I really needed. I think it’s made me more understanding.”
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.