A business is making a beeline for success thanks to a donation from Kilfrost, as part of its support for ex-servicemen and women across the UK.
Mark Sines suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after being badly injured during military service – an issue that returned when he was recently assaulted.
He found an unlikely source of comfort in beekeeping and has since set up a small business thanks to help from X-Forces Enterprise (XFE), the leading UK organisation for enterprise in the military community.
Mark is now keen to build on the early success of Harnham Honeybees, based in Wiltshire. And support from Kilfrost, a corporate member of XFE, will help to make his dream come true.
He has so far been operating with just two beehives but, thanks to an £800 donation, will soon introduce four additional colonies and expand into honey-related skincare products too.
Gary Lydiate, CEO of Kilfrost and Non-Executive Director with XFE, agreed to offer the company’s support after receiving a heart-warming letter from Mark in November.
Gary said: “It was touching to read Mark’s story and fantastic to hear that, after setting up a small business, he’s now looking to expand.
“We’re delighted to be able to help him through our partnership with X-Forces and I very much hope his business goes from strength to strength as a result.
“X-Forces Enterprise offers fantastic support to members of the Armed Forces community. It promotes enterprise, helps to develop business opportunities and provides a tremendous level of training and funding.
“As a company, we’ve supported the organisation since 2015 and it’s wonderful to be able to make a difference to people who deserve our help.”
Mark suffered both physically and mentally after sustaining terrible knee and lower spine injuries during service in Northern Ireland in the 1980s.
It took three major operations and a year of determination and perseverance before he could walk again and events took their toll on his mental health too as he developed PTSD.
The illness returned just three months ago after he was the victim of an assault outside his home.
Beekeeping was one of a number of coping strategies for Mark, who completed a course through Help4Heroes alongside wife Claire held at Sinah Common Honey – a well-established apiary in Hayling Island, Hampshire.
He went on to set up Harnham Honeybees after seeking help from XFE and received strong support from John Geden, the founder of Sinah Common Honey and himself an ex-serviceman turned beekeeper.