Centred Horseplay

Helping hard to reach youngsters open all year round

With specially-trained horses, Centred Horseplay helps hard-to-reach young people. The Axis Foundation donated £7,091 towards building an indoor arena in a barn. Once built, the new premises will enable Centred Horseplay to stay open all year round. They will then be able to help even more hard-to-reach youngsters: many are experiencing drug and alcohol misuse, anxiety and eating disorders, neglect, abuse, aggression, and bullying.

“Thank you so much! This is going to make such a difference! This vital new facility will allow the charity to stay open all year round. Many of the young people who come to us are suffering from social exclusion and depression. All of this is exasperated in dark and cold winters. Our new arena will be well ventilated but also partially undercover so these very lonely young people can still participate in our courses throughout the winter. Our new location is incredibly peaceful and with your help we will be open all your round” – Marie Longstaff, Fundraiser

More about Centred Horseplay

Centred Horseplay describes itself as ‘often the last resort’. It helps young people referred to them by professional support workers and partners. Crucially these are children who are not progressing within conventional services, who may be ‘stuck’ or disengaged from talk-based support. Their fun and busy ReStart behaviour-change programme transfers successful behavioural training techniques for equines into the human world.

Centred Horseplay was founded in 2015 and is based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. It is the approved Gloucestershire Hub for world renowned charity TheHorseCourse. Centred Horseplay’s work has helped reduce re-offending and improved attendance and engagement with school/work/training. Multiple external, independent and academic reports testify to the efficacy of this equine-assisted approach.

There’s more about Centred Horseplay here

This donation was made utilising the Travis Perkins Community Fund.


Boxing school young men trainingDonations

Sandwell Asian Development Association

Preventing crime and antisocial behaviour through boxing

Sandwell Asian Development Association (SADA) keeps young people away from anti-social behaviour and crime, promoting community cohesion, wellbeing, self esteem and physical fitness through their inner city boxing scheme.

In 2023, the Axis Foundation donated £1,000 so SADA could purchase new equipment (a Speed Ball platform, Geezers 6ft leather bag, Wing chun dummy, and ten pairs of boxing gloves). Our award helped SADA launch a non-contact boxing programme for young people (14-18 years).

This follows our previous (2020) donation of £1,000 to SADA to purchase a computer and boxing equipment.

“The boxing training has helped me to improve as a person and respect my elders. Thank you” – SADA service user

More About SADA

SADA runs an 8-week inner city boxing course for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Participants live in BME communities in Sandwell MBC and North West Birmingham; a high percentage have learning difficulties and come from disadvantaged and low income backgrounds. They are referred to SADA by the West Midlands Police, youth services and probation services.

West Midlands Police, Sandwell Council and ex-world boxing champion Ritchie Woodhall all support SADA’s inner city boxing scheme.

Imber Metz football players sat on a pitch listening to their trainer.Donations

Imber Metz

We believe passionately in the importance of the work of Imber Metz, steering young people away from crime and particularly working to reduce knife crime in London.

Imber Metz is the Met Police’s youth engagement project. The charity is one of our longstanding partners whom we are proud to support. The Axis Foundation has donated £35,000 to Imber Metz over seven years.

Our donations help Imber Metz deliver anti-crime lectures and football activities in high-crime and hard-to-reach-areas. The vital projects will benefit around 200 young people.

“Without doubt the most valuable achievement is this: several young people approached Imber Metz to tell of a serious public order situation which could have resulted in knife crime against a named individual. As a result, and due to the close liaison we have with the police, this situation was avoided and a young person’s life saved. Without the Axis Foundation none of the above would have been possible. On behalf of the young people and the project a massive Thank You” – DCI Clive Driscoll, Founder

COVID-19 update

“During Lockdown, we have helped young people who attended our sessions in Lambeth. We have supported them via Zoom and will focus on new projects, including community days and new locations, once conditions allow.

“The future is bright although the last months have been difficult for all. Your assistance gives the communities Imber Metz works with – now and in the future – a chance to start again. As always a massive Thank You” – DCI Clive Driscoll

More about Imber Metz

Imber Metz youth engagement project works to improve the lives of young people in hard-to-reach communities by:

  • promoting work with the police and statutory agencies
  • appointing mentors to convey a strong positive message
  • delivering a strong anti-knife crime agenda
  • engaging young people in football activities
  • focusing on boroughs identified by the Metropolitan Police as Trident Gang Boroughs

Football focus

Our donations have supported the Imber Metz’s youth football project. The project enables Police Officers and young people (who may have lost respect for the Police and the legal system) to spend time together in non-confrontational situations. Together the communities are building bridges and breaking down barriers through sport. In addition, the project helps players build up their social and life skills whilst they receive training in the sport.

The football project used our funds for pitch hire, travel and kit, expanding the project into new areas and involving more socially-excluded youngsters. Imber Metz provides  football for U7, U13 and U18 players and has successfully forged links with many clubs and  community football organisations.

Distinguished mentors

Distinguished mentors supporting Imber Metz youth engagement project include Mr Neville Lawrence OBE, the father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, and leading human rights lawyer Joslyn Coburn.

Youths wearing For Jimmy T-shirts - a charity who safer spaces and communities in South East London.Community

For Jimmy

Creating safer spaces and communities

The Axis Foundation and For Jimmy have consolidated long and special relationship working together in memory of Jimmy Mizen. For Jimmy was founded by the family of Jimmy Mizen, a 16-year old Lewisham boy who was murdered here in 2008 by a fellow young person. Jimmy’s parents, Barry and Margaret, are determined to create a living legacy of forgiveness, peace and hope, helping build safer spaces and communities for everyone – and especially for young people.

We are so grateful to the Axis Foundation for their support and generosity. I promised my son the day he died I would never stop working on his behalf, and I would never forget him. Of course we never have. The support of the Axis Foundation means For Jimmy can continue to work to build safer spaces and communities” – Margaret Mizen, mother of Jimmy

2018: Our millionth £ goes to to For Jimmy

In 2018, we shared a special moment together when the Foundation reached £1m in total donations: this landmark on our road of giving was passed when the Foundation donated £5,000 to For Jimmy.

“We look forward to a long partnership with the Axis Foundation and would like to congratulate – and thank – them all on reaching their £1 million in donations made to charities and causes like ours” – Barry Mizen, Jimmy’s father.

 “We are delighted that our millionth pound is to be given to For Jimmy, a charity that is so close to our hearts and that has had such a positive influence” – Peter Varney, Chairman of the Axis Foundation Trustees

“I’m delighted to celebrate donating one million pounds to causes and charities like For Jimmy that really make a difference and have an impact in their communities” – Alan Curbishley, Patron of the Axis Foundation

Also in 2018: We fund Young Citizens

The Axis Foundation’s donation in 2018 of £10,000 to For Jimmy developed their Young Citizens Programme. The YCP provides the opportunity for young people to identify, plan and deliver a community project which builds their capabilities and self-confidence as well as adding to their passion of making a positive contribution to society.

“We believe we all have the power to build the types of communities we want to live in. We are grateful to the Axis Foundation for their whole-hearted support. Our new Young Citizens Programme has been made possible by your generosity and will make a difference the lives of many young people” – Barry Mizen, father of Jimmy Mizen

2017: Safe Havens

In 2017 the Axis Foundation gave For Jimmy a donation of £5078 funding Safe Haven’ stickers and For Jimmy t-shirts. Safe Havens (inspiring and equipping children and young people to build safer spaces and communities), Good Hope cafes and Talks for Change in schools are three Flagship Programme areas of focus at For Jimmy.

See our video celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2019 as Margaret Mizen explains how For Jimmy used our donation.

A painter and decorator stood beside branded Bounce Back van.Donations

Bounce Back

Employment opportunities for ex-offenders

Bounce Back is a social enterprise charity providing support and rehabilitation to help ex-offenders find employment. Inside and outside prisons, they provide training in construction so that their people gain the skills, confidence and qualifications to improve their chances of employment in the industry.

The Axis Foundation recently donated a van to Bounce Back so they can get more of their workers and supplies to sites in London and the Home Counties This was the second van we have donated to the charity.

“Our thanks to The Axis Foundation – this [donation] enables us to get the teams in our Social Enterprise out to work… using skills learnt in prison to make a living and turn their lives around” – Bounce Back

Continued support for Bounceback

As well donating two vans and materials to the charity, we have mentored trainees, offered start-up business advice, provided paid work experience and helped Bounce Back’s people find employment. John Hayes, CEO of Axis, spent his volunteer day at Bounce Back, demonstrating the close bond that has formed since Bounce Back was founded.

“Axis is one of the organisations that have been with us from the very beginning. Their support has been over the years has been invaluable and we are extremely grateful.” – Francesca Findlater CEO

More about Bounce Back

Bounce Back has provided employment help for ex-offenders since 2012, working with over 1,000 people. 75% of their beneficiaries go into employment or further training, become skilled painters, decorators and construction workers or set up their own businesses. Beginning as a team of five in 2012, Bounce Back has now grown to a team of 30 providing decorating services for a wide range of clients including Landsec and Elephant and Castle’s Box Park – The Artworks. In addition, they work with schools and private clients. Their future ambition is to expand their operations further and to welcome women and young people from vulnerable groups into their training and rehabilitating programme.


Two people playing Table Tennis at Pimlico Foundation youth projectDonations

Pimlico Foundation

Youth project activities reduce anti-social behaviour

The Pimlico Foundation runs after school clubs, one-on-one mentoring, detached youth work, sports and creative activities, all of which are designed to prevent anti-social behaviour and encourage community spirit.

The Axis Foundation donated £700 to the youth project to help them purchase equipment including board games and a table tennis set. This donation means that there is a wider range of activities available at the weekly youth club. These sessions provide the young people who attend with a safe and relaxed space where they can interact with each other and engage with informal learning which serves to enhance their social and personal development.

“We’d like to thank the Axis Foundation for their gift of a donation. It has enabled us to purchase a table tennis set and board games and these are perfect ways to encourage the young people who visit us to interact with each other. The donation has added to our youth work and we appreciate the support as it’s something that the children are really benefiting from” – Mark Liburd, Senior Youth Worker

More About The Pimlico Foundation

The Pimlico Foundation works with young people to create a hub which provides physical, emotional and spiritual support, helping them to reach their full potential. The charity holds a weekly ‘hot chocolate outreach’ which reaches around 100 people. Attendees receive free hot chocolate and get the chance to speak to the youth workers from the charity about local events and help to shape the community.

The youth project operates under the youth movement Outbreak, which aims to create a cohesive community and help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds living in Pimlico



Children playing at Myddleton Grange youth project.Community

Myddleton Grange Residents Association

Community youth project reduces anti-social behaviour

Myddleton Grange Residents community youth project  aims to reduce anti-social behaviours in young people and also to project young residents from gang-related attacks. They want to offer a safe and friendly environment for teenagers to learn important life skills.

The Axis Foundation answered the association’s plea to help make their estate a safer environment for all – by donating an initial £1,000 to cover thirty-two hours of a qualified youth worker’s time.

The donation to the Myddleton Grange Youth Project will contribute to a variety of activities for children aged 10-19, through 2 three hour weekly sessions, as well as weekend residential adventure schemes for older children.

Around 35 children use the youth project, half of whom are under 15, and while they are occupied the entire estate of around 400 households feel the benefit.
The donation from the Axis Foundation will allow for a wider scope of activities and greater capacity to engage with more youngsters, by funding trained workers to lead art/craft, dance, sport, drama and music classes. As well as the Youth club, this local community association also provides residents with a baby & toddler group, social events, organising training in areas such as First Aid, Safeguarding and Food Hygiene.