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Parents of murdered teenager receive joint MBEs for their work

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 31, 2013

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The parents of murdered 16-year-old schoolboy Jimmy Mizen have said receiving MBEs is not just an honour for them, but a reward for their whole family in his memory.

Barry Mizen said he and wife Margaret were both "honoured and humbled" to receive the awards in the New Year Honours list.

The couple, whose son was killed in 2008, are given the honours for services to young people in recognition of the work they have done since their son's murder.

Jimmy was killed on May 10 2008 – the day after his 16th birthday – after he was attacked in Lee, south east London. Jake Fahri is serving a life sentence for his murder.

Since then, the Mizens have battled to help make young people safer – including creating the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, which works to increase young people's awareness of the consequences of violent crime.

Earlier this year, to mark the fifth anniversary of their son's death, they released a book, Jimmy: A Legacy Of Peace, and also held a memorial service for him.

Mr Mizen, 62, said receiving an MBE each was not just a reward for him and wife Margaret, 60, but for the whole family, who are all involved in some way in the foundation.

He said: "We weren't expecting anything at all like this. We're really chuffed.

"To us, it's about the hundreds and hundreds of people that support us, it's about all the work the rest of our family do, and it's in memory of a fine and decent young lad whose legacy will be one of peace and community cohesion.

"This is a recognition of everybody who has been working with us.

"As far as we are concerned, this is a reward to the rest of our family in Jimmy's memory, and the hundreds of people who support us."

Mr Mizen said none of the work he and his family had done would have happened if Jimmy had not been killed, but he and his wife refused to allow bitterness to destroy their family.

"We meet a lot of other parents bereaved through violence, and it's so easy to be destroyed by it, to end up being bitter and angry, but that does so much damage," he said.

"So many of the family are involved in the foundation in one way or another.

"For them to cope with the loss of their brother in such a violent way, it's surprising it hasn't destroyed all of them.

"The work of the foundation is about bringing something good from what happened. So it is wonderful."

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