Shop opening in Greenwich in tribute to Dartford man who drowned in Cotton Lake

Mark Katnoria died last year

He was a "fantastic philosopher"

Mark with his sister Julie

Mum Pat is pleased about the shop which has opened in tribute to her son

Toni Hale is opening the shop after founding the charity in tribute to Mark

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A YEAR after a mental health patients tragically died in a Dartford lake, his friend and former psychologist has started a charity project in his memory.

Mark Katnoria, of Barham Road, was pulled from the freezing cold waters of Cotton Lake in Crossways Business Park on February 27 last year.

An inquest into the 34-year-old's death last November recorded an open verdict with coroner Roger Hatch saying: "It is an impossible conclusion to reach as to what he wanted."

This Is Local London: Shop opening in Greenwich in tribute to Dartford man who drowned in Cotton Lake

A year on, his friend Toni Hale, has started a charity in his memory and is opening a shop in Greenwich next month which will employ people with mental health problems.

She has spoken to his mum, Pat, who will attend the opening of the shop, next month.

Ms Hale knew Mark, a keen lightweight boxer, when he was a voluntary inpatient at mental health facility Little Brook Hospital, in Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford.

He had previously worked for John Lewis in Bluewater for six years.

Ms Hale (pictured below) is currently funding the Mental Health Activity Trust charity, which she founded, out of her own savings.

This Is Local London: Shop opening in Greenwich in tribute to Dartford man who drowned in Cotton Lake

The 49-year-old told News Shopper:  "Mark is the reason for me setting up our charity the Mental Health Activity Trust.

"I was an assistant psychologist at Little Brook when he was there, he was fascinating.

"He was a great person, a fantastic philosopher and loved to debate.

"I was so shocked when I found out what had happened. There needs to be more to help people like him."

The Mental Health Activity Trust shop will open in Delacourt Road, Blackheath, at the end of March.

Ms Hale told News Shopper it is only the first step in a grand plan of activity.

She said: "It will start as a charity shop but we’re also going to train up employers.

"They've told us they’re scared of taking on people with mental health issues and we’re hoping to open other outlets and extend it."

Mark's mother, Pat Katnoira, 64, (pictured below) of Barham Road, Dartford, told News Shopper she is delighted about the project.

This Is Local London: Shop opening in Greenwich in tribute to Dartford man who drowned in Cotton Lake

She said: "It is absolutely brilliant - there should be more people like Toni.

"I was very comforted by the kind things she said about Mark - he was fascinating but if only he’d had the confidence to know that.

"I remember going down to collect his clothes which he had left by the side of the lake and how difficult that was.

"I still miss Mark - every day."

Want to get involved with the charity?

For more information, visit mhatrust.webs.com or call 0207 564 3087.

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