Catholic charity encourages people to stay silent in solidarity with young people who are 'silenced' by society

Those attending the launch of a new Catholic charity that will support young people to take action in their communities and speak out on issues that concern them have promised to spend a total of 378,000 minutes in silence.

The charity, Million Minutes, encourages young people and all who care about them to stay silent in solidarity with young people who are silenced by society and as a way to get sponsored to raise money for local projects both in Britain and overseas.

Margaret Mizen, a Million Minutes Champion, spoke at the launch, which took place on the feast of St Don Bosco at St Mary Moorfields in the City of London. Mrs Mizen is the mother of teenager Jimmy Mizen, who was stabbed to death in south-east London two years ago.

She said: “Young people aren’t bad, but many do lead tough lives. I’m thrilled to be part of a new Catholic initiative that will help.”

Pascal Uche, who greeted the Pope on the steps of Westminster Cathedral during the papal visit on behalf of the young people of England and Wales and is also a Million Minutes Champion, said: “My friends and I are going to stay silent. It’s a great witness to our faith and our faith in other young people.”

The launch attracted more than 130 people including young people from residential centres and local youth groups, clergy and many from the youth ministry around the country.

Speaking at the launch trustee Danny Curtin said: “This is an idea whose time has clearly come. It’s wonderful to be able to get people to do something counter-cultural and based in our Catholic tradition and at the same time raise money for a great cause.”

Delia Smith, a Million Minutes Champion, said: “I am supporting Million Minutes because it’s important to stand alongside young people. You have so much to offer the world at present.”