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Introduction to self-employment

This day is designed to give you the knowledge, understanding, and skills to be able to decide if you want to pursue self-employment, and what your unique business journey will look like.

Dates available

Monday 23rd March 09.30-16.30 at Police Care UK offices, Woking Surrey

Monday 30th March 09.30-16.30 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Leeds

What does the day cover?

Whether you’ve already started working on your business idea, or are just beginning to consider self-employment. This workshop covers:

Our sessions are delivered by X-Forces, a leading organisation for enterprise. They currently operate within the military sector but are branching our to support police through Police Care UK.

John's Story

John Geden spent the first 32 years of his working life formerly in the army as a commissioned officer in the Royal Military Police (RMP) and then latterly in Hampshire Police. In 2014 this career came to an end when he realised that he was suffering from a mental breakdown and decided he could not stay in 'the job' any longer.

John had always had a passion for bees, beekeeping and the environment in general. Seen by many as a course to avoid at all costs he was fascinated by the social order among insect species and particularly the honeybee. Years later whilst in a Covert Observation Post (COP) in Northern Ireland that fascination became stronger after a swarm of honeybees landed very close and decided that they deserved that location more than the British Army! John finally realised his passion in 1992 when as part of his resettlement training package he completed a beginners beekeeping course at Sparsholt College in Hampshire.

John kept bees in his back garden and enjoyed their produce for his entire police career; keeping his secret passion quiet in case anyone thought he was ‘weird’! Scroll forward to 2014 and John needed another focus in his life; he was in the early stages of recovering from PTSD and was troubled by several physical injuries (like most ex service personnel); he knew he had to do ’something’ but had set himself three simple ’non-compromise’ rules. Firstly he didn't want to work for anyone else ever again, or the pressure of managing staff; second he didn’t want to have to wear a suit and tie to work and lastly he decided he did not want to shave his beard anymore! So the idea was hatched by his eldest daughter to turn his passion and hobby into a business. So Sinah Common Honey was born…

However whilst John was reasonably confident with the operational beekeeping skills, not many of his skills from the Army or the Police translated into managing a business or starting one from scratch!

John recognises that starting a business is not for everyone; he says that some of the other fledgling business startups that were being discussed passionately during that X-Forces course in 2014 never made it past the starting posts, but the budding entrepreneurs behind them are now very happy in other employment having decided it was not for them or that their plan was not going to work.

His journey has not been without epic failures! John is quite honest about some of his biggest 'faux pas’ which include letting his heart rule his head on a few occasions and being a bit hasty with decision making on others. However throughout that journey, X-Forces have provided a sounding board for ideas and allowed John the time and space to critically review his ideas and gather the views of others. X-Forces have helped him to join forces with the Federation of Small Businesses, helped him with accountancy issues, Companies House registration and delving into the world of charity law, brand protection and marketing. The relationship with X-Forces has simply not ended and even now John feels comfortable with picking up the phone to ask advice but in return is helping with business support programmes aimed at people retiring from the police service to share his journey and experiences.

Booking on

There are limited places, and they are allocated on a first-come, first served basis.

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