Hi my name is Mark Skelton  I live in Ladysmith, BC. I am a self advocate.

Before the coronavirus pandemic I was going out with groups, working part time, doing Special Olympics BC swimming and doing stuff with friends. The first four months of this pandemic my support was distance support meaning I spent a lot of time on zoom. I have also stopped working. The boredom got very crazy. A couple of months ago I started support in a different way. I walk a lot and spend time outside.

I wear a mask and follow social distancing rules. One of the activities I have been doing a lot is gardening. In my garden I growing calendula, carrots, kale, chives and potatoes. My garden was exploding with calendula flowers. I did not know what to do with them. I found a solution by talking with another gardener, she suggested making calendula balm. My support and I lookd up a recipe called balm.

We came up with a plan to make and sell balm which is self employment which this is the start of my own small business. To make the balm I gathered ingredients, this included picking calendula flowers getting beeswax from a local honey farm and getting jars and olive oil. It took 4 weeks to make a batch because the flowers need to soak. When it was done it makde a nice beautiful product and lots of people really liked it.

I sold out of the first batch, I made 24 jars of balm and sold them all! This experience is helping me get through covid. By Mark

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