Lions carry the message with the Jimmy Mizen Foundation
Millwall's relationship with the Jimmy Mizen Foundation continues to go from strength to strength - and over the past two weeks we have united with Lewisham Schools in a 'Drive for Peace'.
The 'Drive for Peace' is a borough-wide response lead by the Jimmy Mizen Foundation and Young Mayor's team to UK Peace Index statistics in 2013 that named Lewisham the 'least peaceful place' in England and Wales.
Over the past two weeks the 'Drive for Peace' has taken the Jimmy Mizen Foundation and the Young Mayor's team to almost every single Lewisham primary school - 72 of them - travelling in the 'Release the Peace' car and Millwall’s blue bus, reaching out to an entire generation of over 20,000 schoolchildren in south east London.
Barry Mizen MBE, father of Lions fan Jimmy who lost his life to an act of street violence in May 2008, said: "This has been a great two weeks, and a great way to end the academic year.
"We all have a personal responsibility – this has given young people in Lewisham an opportunity to make their own commitment to their community. Jimmy's legacy is not one of anger, vengeance or fear, but one of hope and peace.
"Since we lost Jimmy, Millwall FC and its community have always been there for us and we thank them again for contributing to this campaign. Millwall supporters have been such a help to our family – they are an inspiration to us."
Millwall CEO Andy Ambler commented: "We are pleased to be able to help the Jimmy Mizen Foundation with this latest initiative. We believe that by getting this message of peace and reconciliation out to young people in Lewisham we can help change attitudes for the better.
"Barry and Margaret are wonderful ambassadors and we are proud to be amongst their supporters."
Simon Jones, Director of Schools at the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, added: "The Drive for Peace has had such a warm welcome from every school, each one unique: a line of 700 cheering children, pupils holding giant hands with messages of peace, even a whole school choir singing 'The Dawn of Peace' written by their head teacher. It's been overwhelming and humbling. Lewisham is the borough of peace."
Pupils from each school have added their handprints to Jimmy’s Peace Cloth (each handprint signifies a pledge for peace). The cloth has over 70,000 handprints – and was awarded a Big Society Award by Prime Minister David Cameron in April this year.
The Drive for Peace has also taken Lewisham Young Person's Covenant to each school. The Covenant is a promise between Lewisham Council and Lewisham's young people to work together in a positive way.
As well as schools, community services such as Lewisham Fire Brigade and Lewisham Police have been visited. The second phase in the autumn term will visit every Secondary, PRU and special school in the borough.
To mark the end of the Drive for Peace, there will be a Peace Carnival held on Deptford High Street this Friday 18th July – organised by Grinling Gibbons Primary School, as part of The Jimmy Mizen Foundation’s Flagship school programme.
Further details are available on www.jimmymizenfoundation.co.uk