Good Hope Cafés – London

Can you imagine being able to eat breakfast and drink a warm cup of coffee for a good cause? Sounds a little too good and easy to be true? Well, not in Lewisham!

If you head to south-east London and are in need of a bite to eat or a warm beverage, make sure to swing by a Good Hope Cafés!

There are three cafés: one in Hither Green, one in Ladywell Fields and one on Lewisham High Street. My favourite is the Hither Green one simply because it is a bit cosier than the others. The three places support the same cause though!

Good Hope Café Hither Green London

The cafés were created following the passing of Jimmy Mizen, a young schoolboy who was attacked in 2008. Rather than revenge, his parents decided to focus on compassion and to invest in the local community to make it safer for young people. In 2009, they founded the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, now known as For Jimmy. The charity is working to involve the young local people so they feel part of any decisions affecting their lives. They are encouraged to change positively the communities they live in.

Good Hope Café Hither Green London

“I want you to take hope and encouragement from all that we do. Please don’t feel sorry for us, but take strength and determination to work for change. It starts with each one of us. Let’s work together to bring peace in memory of our fine young people who have lost their lives to violent crime.”

Margaret Mizen, MBE

A great cause and an important one, London has been struggling a lot with youth violence over the past decade. The type of attacks Jimmy was a victim of unfortunately often make the headlines in London and big cities in general.

Now, what about the food? Nothing too fancy here. The menu is simple but everything is tasty! For breakfast, you will find the regular eggs on toasts, breakfast muffins and pastries. For lunch, you can order nice toasty sandwiches which will keep you full until dinner.

Good Hope Cafe breakfast muffin

And if you are visiting between meal times you will find some tasty cakes! What’s not to like?

The best part is that all the cafés employ local young people, giving them valuable work experience to help them as they grow into adulthood. All the money collected is reinvested in the cafés and help support the various charity’s programmes.

Good Hope Café Hither Green London

Andrew and I live very close by and often go there for a tasty (and reasonably priced!) brunch. In addition to all the good For Jimmy is doing, we particularly enjoy going there as we believe it is important to support local businesses. Eat local, shop local, create local jobs and be part of the local virtuous circle!

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Christmas 2017 – A time for giving

At the time of the year where shopping and consumption is at its peak, it is good to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have a roof to sleep under and food we can eat. This is probably one of the most important post I have ever wrote so far, but it is important to share and support people or living creatures in need, and below is the lists of charities you can engage with. Some help humans, other animals, all help make the world a more decent place.

You will see that there are three things extremely close to my heart: animal welfare, women’s health and homelessness.

Animal welfare

I have always been an animal lover, from a very young age I was adopting ladybugs and woodlouse hoping to give them a better home. I was that child that had gold fish, a guinea pig and was horse riding. Today, I have a cat but if it was up to me I would also have a dog, a donkey and many more animals!

Cats Protection

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, they work to make sure that every cat is treated with kindness. This is also where we got our furry friend! Buffer was found next to a bin and brought to Cats Protection. We adopted him as a tiny, skinny kitten and he has since grown into a strong and very curious cat.

Cats Protection
Cats Protection help cats through rehoming by finding good families for them. They also encourage neutering in order to reduce the number of street cats. Finally, they focus on educating wider audience about cats, their needs and care.

You can donate, volunteer, or even adopt!

Lanta Animal Welfare

We discovered Lanta Animal Welfare when visiting Ko Lanta, back in 2014. During our stay on the island, a little and badly hurt kitten decided to find shelter on our hotel room’s balcony. We searched around the area to see how we could help her and Lanta Animal Welfare happened to be a ten minutes’ walk away. The kitten was rescued and neutered after we called them.

Lanta Animal Welfare

The charity was founded by Junie Kovacs in 2005. Her mission was to end the suffering of the hundreds of homeless, abused and injured animals on Koh Lanta. They have sterilised and treated over 15,000 animals. You can donate or, if you happen to visit Thailand, you can offer to be a ‘flight volunteer’.


As a child, I used to cry when seeing homeless people. The thought of someone living alone in the street and completely ignored by passers-by was breaking my heart. Thirty years later, not much has change except that now I can buy them a sandwich or a warming cup of coffee, or at least show them that not everybody ignores them.

Next Meal (London only)

How often have you seen a homeless person out in the cold and you have no money to give them or food to share with them?


Next Meal is a simple web application which will help you find places where homeless people in London can find food and support. It uses GPS on your phone so you can find the nearest open soup kitchen or shelter, and point the person on the street in the right direction. Check the website whenever you come across someone on the street, so they can hopefully get a bed for the night and some free hot food this winter.

Women’s health

The past 5 years, I have had my fair share of women’s health issues. An apple size ovarian tumour removed in 2012, series of breast cysts since 2015, thankfully so far everything has always been benign. I am amazed though by how little there is out there to educate young women. I am in my early thirties and I have seen doctors for those type of issues since I was 26. Awareness shouldn’t only focus on women over 50.


CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kristin Hallenga who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23. CoppaFeel is the first breast cancer charity in the UK to solely create awareness amongst young people.


Their main objective is to create habits that will help young people better know their body and therefore identify faster anything that doesn’t feel right. The charity encourages young women (and men!) to check their breasts, educate young people on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and empower them to seek advice from a doctor if symptoms persist.

You can volunteer, donate or book a ‘Boobette’ who can come visit and educate young people.

Here you go guys! Time to make a difference!

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