Mark lives in Great Sutton in Cheshire. He is married with two daughters, Kate and Emily and has taken part in The Big Sunflower Project since 2011. Mark says:
I learned about the project after reading an article in the Chester Chronicle. The Big Sunflower Project really took my interest. During my first year I started growing my seeds in April and the tall ones eventually grew between 4 – 5 feet. This was my first time growing sunflowers or anything from seed and I have learned how the simple act of placing a seed in a pot, can four months later, lead to fantastic and vibrant coloured flowers in the garden, which I think is a wonderful end result. It was also a constant reminder of the work that The Information Point for Centronuclear and Myotubular Myopathy provides and I passed this on to family and friends.
After a few battles with Mr and Mrs Snail I managed to carry on and grow five plants. It has given me such satisfaction and interest. It has also shown how important they are to nature, we have never had so many bees in our garden.
I myself have three debilitating conditions which can flare up one at a time or all at once and the need to keep a positive mind I feel is so important along with the support of my family and friends. The growing of the sunflowers gave me a focus / purpose to go outside, sometimes just for 30 minutes or so, which took my mind off what or how I was feeling at that particular time. I have also grown a few vegetables from seed for the first time this year which alongside the sunflowers has given me a fantastic outlet and interest.