Mark’s big charity challenge

Mark Ellison

Mark Ellison

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A FORMER army veteran from Kirkcaldy is set to take on his toughest challenge yet to help children with a range of disabilities.

Kirkcaldy born MarK Ellison is set to compete in the Courmayeur Champex Chamonix to raise money for Scottish charity Camphill Blair Drummond.

Mark (39), who now lives in Menstrie, will take part in the 100 kilometre mountain race, which travels through three counties, pushing his strength and endurance to the limit as he battles difficult weather conditions and high altitude.

The 26 hour trek will take place in August and Mark is taking on the challenge in aid of Camphill Blair Drummond’s Public Appeal.

Mark is a support worker at the charity and works with a young man, Kyle Gillan, who has learning disabilities which require him to have 24 hour support, seven days a week.

He said: “I am passionate about the work Camphill does.

“I have worked closely with the majority of the residents and I firmly believe that their future is in our hands.

“That’s why Camphill’s Public Appeal is so important, as the redevelopment will enable us to continue and enhance the work we do.”

Mark has worked closely with Kyle for the past 18 months and is continuing to develop new and exciting methods to help his progress

He said: “Over the past year and a half I have worked intensely with the estate workshop to help Kyle develop new skills such as sawing wood and cutting the grass using a lawn mower.

“We are also developing a communication system.”

Camphill Blair Drummond provides a community life for young people from all over Scotland with learning disabilities.

In 2010, it embarked on an ambitious fundraising drive to improve its facility in Stirlingshire.

The expansion will significantly enhance the work of the charity and it recently launched its Public Appeal to help it achieve its goal.

Princess Anne visited in April and gave her support, and the project has already seen the opening of four new workshops, with the next phase underway to build two double houses.

Mark said: “I chose this practice race to measure my own fitness.

“It will prepare me physically, spiritually and emotionally for the race.”

Elsie Riley, regional fundraising manager at Camphill Blair Drummond, said: “We are delighted that Mark has chosen to do this remarkable race to help raise vital funds for our Public Appeal.”

To make a donation to Mark’s fundraising challenge please visit www.justgiving.com/Mark-W-Ellison.