TWO members of staff from King’s Ely are lacing up their running shoes to raise money for charities close to their hearts.

Mark Hart, Chief Operating Officer at King’s Ely, and Claire Kyndt, Director of Learning Development and Teacher of Geography at King’s Ely Senior, are both in training for this year’s London Marathon on Sunday, April 23rd.

Claire, who lives in Ely, is running in aid of Mind (The National Association For Mental Health), which is King’s Ely’s Torfrida House’s charity this year. It will be the first time that Claire has taken on a marathon and she is hoping to raise £3,000 by taking part.

She said: “The statistic that one in four people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime is fairly well known, but it can very easily remain something that doesn’t really have much impact on our lives, until mental illness affects someone we know and care about; a colleague, friend or relative. Unlike physical wounds, mental scars are invisible making it easy to misunderstand or dismiss the crippling experience of sufferers, which is often still stigmatized rather than treated with compassion. This is why the work of Mind is so important, not only in researching these crippling diseases, but in raising awareness of these issues and supporting those who so often feel trapped and isolated within themselves.”

Mark and his daughter Ellie, 21, are taking on the gruelling 26.2 mile course in memory of Daniel Finn, Mark’s nephew and Ellie’s cousin, who passed away following a devastating asthma attack in February 2006, aged just nine. Mark and Ellie, who live in Bar Hill, near Cambridge, hope to raise more than £3,000 for Asthma UK, the leading asthma charity for the one in eleven people living with asthma in the UK. This year’s marathon will be the 11th time that Mark has taken part in the race, but Ellie’s first time.

Mark said: “I’m really looking forward to the event and running with Ellie in her first marathon. Asthma is a cause close to our hearts and we feel proud to be running in memory of Danny once again, and making a difference to people living with the condition in the UK. It will be a great feeling to be cheered on by our family who have supported me in London during every one of my marathons.”

Mark has raised over £29,000 for Asthma UK by taking part in so many London Marathons over the years, running previously with his wife June, his son Adam on three occasions, and other family members.

To sponsor Mark and Ellie, visit:

To sponsor Claire, visit

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