Lee was 24 when a back injury ended his Army career. With a little help from our charity, he now runs a successful commercial cleaning business that operates across North Yorkshire.
Lee joined the Royal Artillery in 2008, aged 17. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and again in 2012, serving a total of eight years and rising to the rank of Lance Bombardier.
Then, aged 24, a back injury ended his Army career. For a fit young soldier, the news was devastating. Lee struggled with feelings of worthlessness and developed anxiety and depression. Eventually, he entered the Personnel Recovery Unit in Catterick and was assigned a Personnel Recovery Officer who helped to transform his outlook. With a wife and young child at home, Lee decided to use the skills he’d developed in the Army to start his own carpet-cleaning business.
Lee named his business White Horse Cleaning Services after the Kilburn White Horse carved onto the hillside near Thirsk, North Yorkshire. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity supported Lee with his new venture, helping him fund training courses in Leicester and to purchase specialist cleaning equipment.
In 2016, Lee started his carpet cleaning business in Thirsk. Several years on, Lee’s business is thriving. His business plan has changed and White Horse Cleaning Services now offers a full suite of cleaning services for commercial buildings and factories across North Yorkshire. In 2022, Lee now employs 46 staff and the business continues to expand. Lee sees his employees as part of the family, with the same brother and sisterhood he remembers from his Army days.
Lee’s commitment to the Armed Forces remains a driving force behind White Horse Cleaning Services. In 2021, Lee’s company gained Silver accreditation in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme; a great achievement. The company aligns it’s values with the Armed Forces. Lee is aiming to become the number one specialist commercial cleaning contractor in Yorkshire region and beyond. His is a story of triumph over adversity.
In 2022, Lee was nominated for the Soldiering On Awards and has won the ‘Business of the Year – Scale Up’ award, which honours an individual or group of individuals linked with the Armed Forces Community who have started a successful new venture more than two years ago and who still retain a minimum of 50% interest in the venture.
Our charity is very proud of Lee’s achievements and send our warmest congratulations on the growth of his business.