Ellie working in The Café of Good Hope

“You need to step up and be quick to learn”

Ellie Nevin (17) works in one of our Jimmy Mizen Cafés

I’ve worked at The Café of Good Hope for just over two years — I wanted to get a part time job so I could be more independent, do something for myself, and I’ve saved all my wages up for a trip I’m planning next year before I go to uni — to the Galápagos Islands! I want to volunteer in conservation there. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I’d love to do that as a job further down the line. Plus I want to have a holiday there as it’s a beautiful place!

The café is so local to me. I knew of Foundation For Jimmy before, but not as much as I do now. It seemed like a really nice place. I’ve learnt that young people who aren’t as fortunate as me, or don’t have a supportive family like I do — what a negative impact that can have on their lives. For me, Foundation For Jimmy is about how we can change that for the better, and make people happier. We talk about working for peace — I think peace is about being happy as a person. Making more people in the world happy and giving them a better life.

I joined a new school last September for the start of Sixth Form (Dartford Grammar Boys’ School) — and they made me Head Girl in January! I didn’t expect it at all. I’m quite a quiet person but I didn’t want to get lost in the numbers, so I started helping out at parents’ evenings and music events. The school picked up on it and I had an interview — then they offered it to me. I’ve gained a lot of confidence from working in the café, because you have to interact with people you don’t know and get on with things. You can’t think “oh, I can’t do this.” You can’t worry about what other people are thinking, you need to step up and be quick to learn. I wasn’t good at talking to strangers and now I’m much better.

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