Forgiveness, Peace & Hope for our Jimmy

Statement by Margaret and Barry Mizen for The Mizen Foundation

When our dear son Jimmy was murdered in 2008, we made a promise to him that we would do all in our power to preserve his memory by creating a lasting legacy of forgiveness, peace and hope in his name for young people everywhere.

Since then, and to that end, we and all of Jimmy’s siblings have worked tirelessly to make good that promise to our son by actively seeking to build the better, safer communities that we all want and deserve to live in.

Along the way we have been privileged to collaborate personally with so many wonderful young people, schools, businesses, supporters and volunteers, all of whom passionately believe in what we want to achieve for our society as that legacy for Jimmy.

So much has already been achieved and there is so much more to do. 

However, in recent months, it saddens us greatly to say that fundamental differences over the strategic direction and focus of our work began to emerge between us and the trustees of the charity founded by us, most recently known as For Jimmy, now known as Smart Choices.

These differences in approach over our goals and how to reach them were both painful to endure and substantive enough for us to be left with no choice but to step away from the charity we originally formed and to play a major role in establishing this new charity, The Mizen Foundation. It now enables us to continue to work for peace in our son’s memory in the way we know Jimmy would want us to.

So, as we finalise the formal termination of our relationship with the old charity – we ceased working with them on April 1st 2020 – we look forward to all of the new Foundation’s vital work to come; to help young people across the UK become those changemakers for peace we know they can be and, in the process, go on to help to make our streets and our communities so much safer for everyone.

As we now embark on the work of The Mizen Foundation, we are reminded of the words in prayer of the former Chaplain to the US Senate, the late Peter Marshall, who so well encapsulated our mission and ethos:

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”

We are looking forward to strengthening all of our relationships with everyone who has supported us so much personally over the years and to working with all of you again in future. 

We are so very grateful for all you have done and will do in helping us, as The Mizen Foundation, to widen and deepen that legacy of forgiveness, peace and hope that we all desire for young people everywhere and for the memory of our son, for Jimmy.

Margaret and Barry