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Kyra Haydon, health worker with a gift for helping others

She met her husband in the Magdala pub in South End Green

09 February, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Kyra Haydon

KYRA Haydon, a champion for public health, has been described as “entirely selfless” after a lifetime helping others.

Ms Haydon, who passed away last month aged 74, had worked as a midwife, a health visitor and later pioneered Sure Start programmes aimed at helping young children.

She began training as a nurse in 1968 at University College Hospital, where her children were later born and where she was herself treated as a patient after being diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

Her sister Nikki, who worked at Haverstock School for 43 years, said: “Kyra always wanted to do things for her community and would go out of her way to help other people. It was something she took on board for life.”

Kyra was born in Sutton and excelled at school, before moving to South End Green in the 1960s. She met her husband, Barry Marks, in the Magdala pub. He collects and sells rare and second-hand books for a living and she helped him with his work after she retired in 2005.

The couple moved first to Muswell Hill before buying a house together in the 1980s. They needed a ground-floor flat to make life easier for son Ben, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while at university aged 21.

Judy Barker, who first met Kyra in the 1980s as a health practitioner, said: “Her gift was being able to have that quality of relationship with people from all different backgrounds. She was empathetic and sensitive. She was entirely selfless and an exceptionally good person.”

Ms Haydon’s daughter Becky, 44, remembers as a youngster marching for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) alongside her parents – Mr Marks was the organisation’s local secretary.

Coming from a politicised family, she said: “It was normalised – standing up for what you believe in was just what you do. It was also a fun day out.” Becky added that her mother would spend hours laughing and playing with her nine-year-old granddaughter, Hannah Kyra Marks, acting “like a second mum”.

She passed away on January 2 and is survived by Barry, her children Becky and Ben, and her siblings Nikki, 67, Anne, 79, Gaie, 77 and Henry, 64.

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