Dad launches firm in son’s name during 12 weeks of forced absence

Reece Horide and his son, Harley, in the Harleys Home and Leisure van Picture: REECE HORIDE

Reece Horide and his son, Harley, in the Harleys Home and Leisure van Picture: REECE HORIDE - Credit: Reece Horide

A Suffolk dad overcame one of the worst times of his life to launch a business in honour of the son he was separated from by isolation.

Reece Horide and his son, Harley, in front of the Harleys Home and Leisure van Picture: REECE HORID

Reece Horide and his son, Harley, in front of the Harleys Home and Leisure van Picture: REECE HORIDE - Credit: Reece Horide

Reece Horide was furloughed from work under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme one week before learning his son, Harley, who suffers from severe asthma and lives with his mother, was among those required to shield at home for three months.

“It was one of the worst times of my life,” said Mr Horide.

“Those 12 weeks felt like a year.”

“It was a tough time and I just needed something to focus on.

“Then came the day I was able to pick him up – in a van with his name on it.

“There were so many different emotions.”

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Mr Horide worked for almost a decade as an area sales rep in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry.

The 33-year-old, of Brandon, has since been made redundant but is hoping to make a success of his own business, Harleys Home and Leisure, offering house clearances, waste collection and ‘man with a van’ services.

“I didn’t start with the intention of launching a business,” he said.

“But I’ve always been interested in reducing waste and I began by taking little job lots of items people were throwing away, cleaning them up and reselling them.

“It started as an online secondhand shop and man with a van service.

“After a few weeks, overnight, I had about 4,000 visits to the Facebook page I’d set up.

“I realised there was quite a market for this and started taking it a bit more seriously.

“Since then, I got myself a waste carrier licence and added house clearance, garden clearance and removals.

“I’ve been gradually altering services based on demand and customer feedback.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but this is what I’ve chosen to do.

“I think quite a few people will have taken being furloughed as an opportunity to give something a go.

“I know this is going to be hard work. I’ve got the fundamentals behind me and I know no business booms from day one.”