For Margaret and Barry Mizen, the charity For Jimmy has always been for their son. Jimmy Mizen was tragically killed in an unprovoked attack a day after his 16th birthday, at his local bakers in May 2008.
Since that day the family have been determined to focus on two outcomes. First, that they will not be beaten by his death and secondly that something good will come from it for the benefit of young people.
Barry and Margaret share Jimmy’s story across the country in schools, churches, prisons, Pupil Referral Units & community groups. With societies threatened by an epidemic of knife crime Jimmy’s mum, Margaret says that her challenge to young people is to “Go out and be the change makers, the peacemakers, to make a difference.”
Considering this season of Advent, Margaret’s message is one of hope: “With excitement, joy and a sense of deep reflection we anticipate the celebration of Christmas. When I look at the beautiful baby Jesus lying in the crib I am filled with a sense of peace and optimism for the future. That is why I believe we must be there for our young people, who are our future, especially those who are suffering and do not see a peaceful path ahead of them. Jesus showed us how to bring hope to life and at this special time of year my faith is strengthened to bring that hope to our young people and guide them to making a better world. Let us teach our young people how special they are, how loved they are, and how much promise they offer."
Another project of the charity involves creating ‘Safe Havens’ which young people can turn to if they feel they are in danger. Shops and businesses display a sticker that promises protection and staff are trained in how to offer a safe space. These havens help build safer communities for our young people.
How can we help to create safer communities and offer hope this Advent?
Please consider taking two minutes out of your day to say Jimmy’s prayer this Advent Sunday with your communities and young people.
Lord, we thank you for the gift of Jimmy.
Thankyou for the joy he brought to all who knew him.
May his life and witness give hope to all our precious young people.
To find out more about the charity please visit: forjimmy.org
We are delighted that Margaret Mizen is one of our champions. It is their message of peace, a principle of our Catholic social teaching, that we want to share with young people.