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Dad's plea: Back Times' TOY APPEAL for Jimmy

PUBLISHED: 15:14 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 25 August 2010

LOOKING BACK: Jimmy with his dad Barry donating to last year’s appeal.

LOOKING BACK: Jimmy with his dad Barry donating to last year's appeal.

THE father of killed teenager Jimmy Mizen has asked that readers donate to this year's Times' Toy Appeal in memory of his son.

THE father of killed teenager Jimmy Mizen has asked that readers donate to this year's Times' Toy Appeal in memory of his son.

Jimmy Mizen, 16, from Lee, featured in the Times last November with his dad, Barry, when he donated to our last appeal to send toys to children stuck in hospital over Christmas.

Standing behind the counter in Mr Mizen's shoe menders, in High Street, Sidcup, our photo of the father and son's generous donation set the tone for our campaign.

Mr Mizen said: "I hope this year we can do it in memory of Jimmy. I know he loved it last year.

"I remember I gave him some money to buy some toys and he went straight next door to get them.

"Jimmy is... Jimmy was always very keen on projects like this. He was so excited by it last year, especially when he appeared in the Kentish Times.

"Someone at school put the picture of him up on the wall of the staff room - he was so pleased."

Tragically, the pupil at St Thomas More Roman Catholic School, Eltham, was killed in Burnt Ash Hill six months later, a day after his 16th birthday.

But Mr Mizen, 56, hopes that Christmas will bring the community respite from the violence that has devastated families like his across London.

He said: "It's a chance for community building, to say hello to the neighbours.

"I know the shops are telling us all to buy things, but it's important that it's a traditional Christmas - not a winter holiday. We need to spread some goodwill.

"I know the people of Sidcup especially can be very generous and supportive. I hope they'll support the Toy Appeal as they've supported us and the Jimmy Bus Appeal."

Jimmy's mother, Margaret Mizen, added: "Children are scared enough in hospital, but at Christmas it's especially important to bring a little cheer into their lives."

The Times has already started receiving donations from readers, but still has a long way to go. They will go to Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, and Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

HOW AND WHAT TO DONATE:

Toys should be suitable for children aged 0-16 years and come unwrapped, in their original packaging.

What we don't want: Soft toys or clothes, new infection control guidelines do not allow them.

Examples of what we do want: puzzles, dolls, board games, plastic farm animals, arts and crafts, books, cars, train sets, wooden toys, CDs, stereos, personal stereos, DVDs, DVD players, PlayStation 2 games, all sizes of nightwear, baby toys, musical instruments.

Send gifts to: Kentish Times Newspapers, Roxby House, Station Road, Sidcup, DA15 7EJ or Kentish Times Newspapers, The Courtyard, Unit 4 7A Manor Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1AA.

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