Good Hope Cafe – Hither Green

The Good Hope Cafes were set up as a response to the tragic murder of Jimmy Mizen - a part of the For Jimmy charity. The cafes are a haven of peace and safety in their communities and help to fund the charity's work

This truly heartwarming community café was opened in 2010 by Barry Mizen and his wife, Margaret, after the tragic murder of their son Jimmy in an unprovoked attack. It started as a way of funding their charity, For Jimmy, dedicated to spreading a message of love and compassion following the devastating loss of his young life. However, it has grown into an important community hub.

Expect comfy couches, loose-leaf teas, delicious cakes, pastries and sandwiches, plus a range of community-focused events, pop-ups and activities. Recently, this has included a Syrian supper club run by the renowned Damascus Chef. There’s also a lovely little garden.

 

The Impact

Profits from the cafe go towards supporting the charity, For Jimmy, which organises a variety of activities across the country to promote a message of love and compassion. There’s a Safe Havens programme which outlines champions that help create positive cultures and attitudes in shared places of rest and play. There are walking tours that help garland public places with buzz, warmth and shared activity.

The spaces also act as hubs and safe spaces for their local communities, particularly vulnerable young people. The cafes now provide personalised placements to young people with autism, partnering with Drumbeat School and ASD Services. This has added significane to the Mizen family as Jimmy’s sister, Sammy, has Downs Syndrome.

 

Here’s what they said

Our Good Hope cafés are a beacon of what a community business should look and feel like, a haven of peace and safety.

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.

 

Read more over on GOtilo.org

Heartbreak, Hard Work And Hot Chocolate: Inside South London’s Good Hope Cafe