On Friday 17th November, Margaret and Barry Mizens visited Bishop Challoner School in Shortlands to speak to senior pupils about Jimmy and the charity in his name, the Jimmy Mizen Foundation
Jimmy was a schoolboy from Lewisham who, on the day after his sixteenth birthday in May 2008, was killed in a senseless act of violence in a bakery. The Mizens are very ordinary parents, who love their family dearly. What makes them so extraordinary is their compassionate response to a terrible act of violence.
Since Jimmy’s untimely death, Barry and Margaret have worked tirelessly visiting schools and parishes nationally to bring a message of peace and hope to young people, encouraging them to work together to make their communities safer.
The Mizens spoke about needing to forgive in order to move on with their lives and come to terms with what had happened. They explained to Challoner pupils that if they had held onto anger and hatred it would have eaten away at them and they would never have been able to take up this work which has inspired and helped so many. What became clear during their talk was their unshakable faith and trust in God. Indeed, Margaret explained that it was her faith that gave her the strength to deal with what had happened;identifying with Mary the Mother of Jesus as she had also suffered the pain of losing her Son Jesus when he died on the Cross. Margaret spoke about Mary’s powerful intercession before God and encouraged us to never lose hope and to cling to God in times of trial.
Paula Anderson, Head, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Barry and Margaret to Bishop Challoner to share their story and to deliver a clear message of forgiveness and the importance of having faith in God. An inspirational family!”
“We were pleased to speak to senior pupils at Bishop Challoner about Jimmy and the charity in his name. They listened thoughtfully and engaged well with questions afterwards.” Margaret Mizens
The School is proud to be supporting the Charity through various fundraising activities, including a Christmas Carol Concert, to reflect and remember Jimmy Mizen.