|Fund:||First Steps Enterprise Fund|
|How the money was used:||
Following the murder of Lewisham schoolboy Jimmy Mizen, his family set up a charity to honour his memory and promote community cohesion, safety and support for young people in the local area. The First Steps Enterprise Fund enabled them to help young adults with learning difficulties develop their professional skills.
For Jimmy works with young people, schools, businesses and communities to create the safest spaces for young people to grow up in. They drive change across three levels: inspiring individual responsibility, connecting communities and building safe places to turn to.
For Jimmy’s research at five different schools in Lewisham found that 87% of schoolchildren surveyed had a bleak outlook on their future prospects with 90% believing their lack of work experience was holding them back.
For Jimmy’s educational programmes aim to challenge these perceptions, teaching young people the soft skills and confidence they need to access long-term employment and steer clear from crime and anti-social behaviour.
As well as leading interactive workshops in 14 schools across Lewisham, the charity also operate several ‘Good Hope’ community cafes from which they provide employment opportunities, training and delicious food and drink across South London.
How we helped
With the pressure on schools to cut costs having a knock-on effect on For Jimmy’s income, the charity had to consider additional ways to stay sustainable.
For Jimmy made a bold step in applying for First Steps Enterprise Fund investment; they had never applied for a loan before but were willing to explore new options to ensure their activities could remain sustainable.
“It’s rare to find a funding partner who believes in ambitious plans as much as Social Investment Business do. The expertise and support received through the First Steps Enterprise Fund has been a huge asset on our journey.”
Bill Mizen, Founder, For Jimmy
What was the outcome?
Funding from the First Steps Enterprise Fund allowed For Jimmy to put together a transitional plan to help them build on their business model and create work experience opportunities for young adults with autism at their Good Hope cafés.
The fund also helped For Jimmy safeguard their existing learning programmes. They were able to extend their programmes to a maximum of eight weeks, thereby adding greater value to their service offering in schools.
Financial support allowed them devote more time to application-writing, improving their outreach to schools and growing their customer base. Ultimately, they were able to double the number of young people they could work with.
With 2018 being the 10th anniversary of Jimmy Mizen’s death, the charity continues to honour his legacy through protecting and adding economic value to their local community through their ‘Safe Havens’ and ‘Young Citizens’ programmes.