A donation from Kilfrost to an ex-serviceman to help him in setting up a bee-keeping business has paid dividends during lockdown.
Mark Sines has been able to visit and work on his newly-installed beehives thanks to the insects being classed as livestock.
This connection with nature has proved hugely positive for Mark, who suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after being badly injured during military service – an issue that returned when he was recently assaulted.
Kilfrost donated £800 to Mark to enable him to introduce four additional colonies and expand into honey-related skincare products with his business Harnham Honeybees, based in Wiltshire.
Mark said: “The support for this project was so kind. It has meant I’m able to get out, look after the bees and clear my head when I am having a bad day. It’s been a massive help with my PTSD.
“After lockdown we are looking at expanding and setting up a veterans bee club to support veterans with PTSD and physical disabilities to build their self-esteem. Our local council has given us an area of ground on an allotment that has access for people with disabilities and the space for two hives.”
The original donation was made by Kilfrost through its corporate membership of X Forces, the leading UK organisation for enterprise in the military community.
Gary Lydiate, CEO of Kilfrost and Non-Executive Director with X-Forces, agreed to offer the company’s support after receiving a heart-warming letter from Mark in November.
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 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 X-Forces and received strong support from John Geden, the founder of Sinah Common and himself an ex-serviceman turned beekeeper.