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Bury veterans charity scoops bee project boost

August 30th, 2022
Shirley Simmons Selco Community Heroes Winner

A Bury veterans charity is buzzing with excitement after winning building materials to help develop its beekeeping area.

Bury Veterans Hub has won £500 worth of materials from Selco through the recently launched Community Heroes campaign, and it could get better still for the charity which will go forward to a public vote final later in the year with £5,000 up for grabs for the winner.

Bury Veterans Hub helps veterans with PTSD, debt, addictions, isolation, budgeting and housing. The charity is creating a beehive and training some of its members as beekeepers.

Shirley Simmons, founder of Bury Veterans Hub, said: “We’re thrilled to win these materials from Selco, it’s a tremendous boost. We use different therapy projects to help our members focus on things they are interested in and enjoy.

“We are developing an apiary which we hope will encourage some of our members out of isolation, which is a very common problem in veterans once they leave service.

“Once the apiary is complete, which we’ll be able to do with these materials from Selco, we will purchase two queens to develop their own colonies.”

Shirley said the charity plans to sell its own honey as well as providing informative talks about bees for the wider community. There are also plans to create a wildflower area and a wildlife pond.

“Once complete, we will then raise awareness of the community garden within the local residents and organise barbecues to decrease isolation amongst the wider population,” said Shirley.

Community Heroes will award two £500 prizes each month throughout the six-month campaign. All 12 winners will be entered into the final public vote for the £5,000 jackpot, or the £1,000 runner-up prize.

The scheme is open to any charity or group which is at the heart of its local community and entry can be made by explaining in no more than 100 words how they would use the building materials or money to benefit them.

Entries can be made online.

Carine Jessamine, Selco marketing director, said: “We’re delighted to support Bury Veterans Hub as one of our first winners of this year’s Community Heroes contest.

“They do tremendous work with veterans in the area and help them make the difficult step back into civilian life after serving our country.

“So many organisations do sterling work in their communities and we look forward to supporting many more through Community Heroes in the months to come.”

The first two overall winners of the competition, previously called Selco Stars, have been Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice and Helping Homeless Veterans.

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