For Jimmy creates safe spaces for young people to grow up in, with a strong focus on Lewisham, South East London. It was set up in honour of murdered Lewisham schoolboy Jimmy Mizen.
Research carried out by the charity For Jimmy in five different schools in Lewisham found that 87% of school children surveyed had a bleak outlook on their future prospects, with 90% believing their lack of work experience was holding them back.
For Jimmy challenges 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. However, with the pressure on schools to cut costs having a knock-on effect on the charity’s income, it had to consider additional ways to stay sustainable.
To continue its sustainable growth, For Jimmy applied for the First Steps Enterprise Fund managed by the Social Investment Business on behalf of the ASDA Foundation. One of the Fund’s key objectives is to support organisations working on employment for young people.
The loan is being paid back through the operations of the charity – its interactive school workshops and revenue generated through its ‘Good Hope’ community cafes, which provides employment and training opportunities in South London.
Social investment allowed For Jimmy to build on their business model and create work experience and training opportunities for young adults with autism at their Good Hope cafés.
The First Steps Enterprise Fund also helped the charity safeguard their existing learning programmes and extend them to a maximum of eight weeks, adding greater value to their service offering in schools. This enabled them to double the number of young people they could work with.
Social Investment Business provides loans, grants and strategic support to charities and social enterprises to help them improve people’s lives. We have helped hundreds of organisations become more resilient and sustainable so that they can grow and increase their impact.
Through building a strong relationship with SIB we felt confident that social investment was a viable option during a transitional time at For Jimmy. This social investment loan has helped develop our training work within our Cafe’s as well as invest time in securing further grants from trusts and foundations
– Bill Mizen, CEO, For Jimmy