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Challenge Maya

Updated - 28th November:

Secret November Challenge

For those who came to our Hollywood Ball last Saturday the 21st, you will have been wowed by my secret November challenge!! ha ha!

This was one that I couldn't do by myself, so I enlisted the help of our fundraiser 'amazing Amanda', one of our trustees 'pirouetting Paul' and my husband 'salsa Steven' for a Strictly Ballroom challenge!! Set by my good friend Lindsey Glenville, we were challenged to learn a ballroom dance of our choice!

After just 3 lessons with the lovely Fiona Garbett @CG Studios in Pontefract, we learnt a Viennese Waltz to the Sam Smith Bond song!

As an intro to get up to the dance floor, we freestyled to Peanut Butter Jelly by Galantis! In rehearsals it did look more polished but nerves on the night and a missing Paul when the music started (you can see the look of sheer panic on our faces, then him running to join us!) but still a fantastic effort none the less!!

I'd like to thank Lindsey Glenville who set me this challenge and Tim Hen for the beautiful keepsake card that was presented to me on the night! I will treasure this! And for their incredibly generous donation of £50 for this penultimate challenge. Lindsey and Tim have been wonderful supporters of our charity over the last few years. Thank you so so much xxx

Finally, huge thanks to Amanda, Paul and Steve for giving up their time and dignity to help me with this challenge!!! It's not easy dancing infront of nearly 170 people!!!! And a big thank you again to Lindsey for setting this fabulous challenge, I really enjoyed it and it gave me my strictly moment!!xx

If you think our efforts are worth a pound or two please donate via www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya

Thank you so much xx





December Challenge

For December I've come up with an idea (probably something I'm going to regret the moment I hit the post button!!) that I do 12 days of Challenges (in a row!) for the 12 days of Christmas, starting on the 1st of December! These would obviously have to be challenges that require very little preparation and I would love to get as many of you as possible to get involved in them with me. So if you're prepared to set me a December challenge I'd like for you to do it with me! Pretty please!!!

So hit me with them....... (hides behind the sofa!!!!)



November Challenge - Scaregrounds

8 of us started this challenge on November 1st & all 8 of us finished! And as an extra unexpected challenge I ended adopting a minor for the night and held her hand all the way round the course as she was terrified!!

From the minute you stepped out of the car, a devil, skeleton & Voodoo lady accost you! Poor Amanda didn't even make it out of the car before having her hat pinched!

We then had to make our way through the pitch black woods, where zombies, clowns etc would jump out at you screaming or cackling, to different sections where more creatures would await us!!!

Every one of us screamed at different things! I think the twisted clowns with their sinister laughs were the scariest!! Especially as we went through narrow smoke filled corridors with strobe lights so you can't see then the clowns jump out at you & tell you there's no escape!!

But we did it!!! Thank you to Paul & Lisa from Carter's Solicitors who set me this challenge & we're good sports for taking part too! Thank you also to Amanda our fundraiser (poor girl didn't realise all the things she'd get roped into when she joined our team!), her husband Gary, and a big thanks & well done to 3 of our brave mum's Nichola, Naomi & Jo for braving their fear of clowns (or scaring them further!!)



I don't think I've screamed & laughed at the same time before! I think I kind of enjoyed it! A fantastic & fun challenge after all my running & skills challenges.

I have a secret challenge for later in November too!! Watch this space.

As always, if you'd like to sponsor this or any of my challenges you can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya

Thank you  x

October Challenge - The Yorkshire Marathon

I've only gone & done it!!!! Finished my first (& last) marathon in 3:59:15 on Sunday 11th October!!! Woooo flipping hoooo!!!! Had a cry when I crossed the finish line!

Had some fantastic running buddies Natalie Tillie Clark, Jason Johnson, Chris Price, Karl Blackburn and a special mention to Jonathan Reeves who was with me for the duration & helped spur each other on! So so pleased that's over with! Can go back to enjoying running. So proud of all my running friends.

Thank you everyone who has sponsored me and if anyone would still like to go to www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya




This Year's Remaining Challenges

It's been a while since I updated my challenges on here! Take a look to see what I've been upto! I'm now 3/4 of the way through my 12 months of challenges!

I have the Yorkshire Marathon for my October Challenge - Eeeeek!
A secret challenge for November - oooooh!
And still sorting out December's challenge which needs to be spectacular to finish off the year!!!!

Thanks to all who've donated over the past 9 months, it really means a lot to me and my charity. Your donations allow us to put on a whole range of courses for the children who attend our centre which not only benefits them but their whole families.


September Challenge - Ladybower

What a fantastic challenge my September challenge was!

After succesfully getting Steve round the Great North Run, it was time for the Ladybower 20!!!

After being picked up by one of my running friends at 6.10am who kindly drove us to the scenic Ladybower reservoir in Bamford, I set off with 10 other members from my running club & around 100 other people on a 20 mile race!!! (It in fact finished at 20.6 miles!)

Up to now my furthest distance in training has been 17 miles so I was super nervous about today's challenge, but I have to say it's the most beautiful place I've ever run around! There was mist on the lake when we set off & the runners soon spread out. I set off at a steady pace but soon found myself ahead of my friends, thankfully at mile 2 I started chatting to the lady next to me & she became my running companion for the remainder of the course! We were perfectly matched for pace & bizarrely she had also done up to 17 miles in training. We supported each other throughout the miles which made it a much more enjoyable experience. This is what I love about running, that you can meet a stranger on race day who will help you on your run without realising they are. So a great big thanks to Hannah Peck! A huge thank you to Laura for driving back too after also running 20 miles!

And the moment you've been waiting for....

We smashed the run in 3hours 23 mins!!!! (3 hours 21 by my watch!) which I am delighted at

Now for the cheeky bit.... If you'd like to sponsor me for this challenge (and believe me it was a challenge with my taped up legs holding them together!!) you can do so by going to www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya

Thank you xxxx




September and October Challenges
(posted 10th Sept.)

September's Challenge is to get my husband Steve round the Great North Run on Sunday the 13th September. It's his first ever half marathon, he's been doing great in his training!

Then on Sunday the 20th I will be doing Ladybower 20 miles, which will be the furthest I've ever ran!

On the 11th October I will be taking part in the Yorkshire Marathon!! My first and hopefully only marathon.


August's Challenge
(posted 19th Aug)

I did it!! Ladies & gents you are now looking at the proud owner of a Red Belt in Kickboxing!!

On 15th August. I took part in grading along with 20+ other students at Chuldow Martial Arts Black Belt Academy in Wakefield under the watchful eyes of owner Ary Hauer.
We were asked to perform a series of moves & our fitness levels were also tested over a 30 minute period (those who were doing higher belts stayed on longer to perform more difficult moves).

Maryleigh, my challenger, graduated to Purple Belt today, which is 6 belts above mine!!! Well done Maryleigh!

I have thoroughly enjoyed this months challenge, it's a great way to keep fit whilst learning a new skill & a discipline. I would highly recommend this martial arts academy to anyone. I think I may have found a new hobby!

I was super nervous today but was thrilled upon completing it! A HUGE thank you to Ary & all at Chuldow Martial Arts for accommodating my challenge & making me feel very welcome. I will be back!

Now over you to you lovely guys reading this... If you haven't already sponsored any of my challenges & feel that this challenge is worth parting with a pound or two I would be ever so grateful of your support!


You can donate by going to www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya or by texting MAYA15 £5 (or whatever amount you would like) to 70070

Thanks as always 😊 xxxx

July's Challenge
(posted 20th July)

Boy oh boy! Now that was a challenge (18th July)!

My local parkrun (free 5k timed event every Saturday) Nostell Priory parkrun celebrated it's 1st Birthday today, we were invited to dress up to an Upstairs/Downstairs theme. So I thought I'd turn this event celebration into my July challenge!

This morning saw me dress up as 'Tea Maid Maya' & my son & his running buggy were transformed to 'Little Lord Reuben'! I ran (ahem jogged!) 5km (3.1 miles) whilst pushing his buggy one handed with the other hand carrying a tray with a plastic tea set. I thought I'd give fine bone china a miss!

Now I have run a fair few times with Reuben in his buggy, but running and pushing it with only one hand whilst the other hand is balancing a tray is an entirely different matter! It was hard, not so much on the legs (apart from up the hills) but my arms were aching and it's pretty difficult turning the buggy on the spot with one hand!

But I did it!! I was called bonkers on the way round which to be fair I'm well aware of! 

If anyone would like to make a donation for this latest or for any of my challenges you can do so by going to www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya

Thanks in advance.



Steve's 400 Miles in 5 Days
(posted 24th June)

See the News/Events page for news of Maya's 3 Peaks Challenge for June.

It's not just Maya completing all these amazing Challenges!!.

Congratulations to Steve who completed a 400 mile bike ride on June 21st as part of his fundraising for The Laila Milly Foundation in memory of our daughter xxxx you're a star!!




Blindfolded parkrun -
May's Challenge

Wow wow Wowzers!!! I'm still buzzing after our blindfolded parkrun on May 16th!! What an awesome bunch of running buddies I have! There were 8 blindfolded runners & guides this morning at Nostel Priory parkrun. The guides did a fantastic job at getting us visually impaired runners around the course in relatively one piece! Just one minor mishap with one of our runners but on the whole it was a fantastic experience. Very proud of you all!! Thank you so much for helping me with this challenge.


A big thank you to my guide Gregory, I felt completely safe with him by my side. In the last photo you'll see our practice time from last week & today's awesome time. I said to Greg "let's try get a sub 30 today" thinking we'd get around 29mins! Think we smashed it!! 

Thank you to Hannah for setting this challenge! I loved it! 

And finally and most importantly a HUGE HUGE thank you to all the runners & supporters at Nostell, thank you for your cheering & words of encouragement all the way round and THANK YOU for your generosity!!! We collected £145.99 in out charity buckets!!! You guys are incredible xxxx

If anyone would like to donate online you can do so by going to www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya

Keep the challenges coming in!!!

Pen-y-Ghent Practice Climb -
June's Challenge

Great practice climb on 17th May. 20 of us tackled Pen-y-Ghent, the first of the three peaks in the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge, the other two being Ingleborough & Whernside. Thankfully the rain held off but it was pretty breezy up there!! My training plan leading up to next month's challenge is either eating lots of cakes so I'm a bit sturdier so I don't get blown over or start carrying rocks in my rucksack!! 

Everyone did really well. Looking forward to the challenge.


Ackworth Half Marathon

As part of Challenge Maya, on Sunday 12th April, I ran the Ackworth Half Marathon along with our Chair of Trustees Steve Berry and his wife Wendy.

Between them they are running 7 half marathons this year for us!! Now that's dedication! Here's their Fund Raising page. Here we are before and after the race sporting our new Laila Milly Foundation running vests.



Sheffield Half Marathon

Also one of my running buddies Mel Ritson ran the Sheffield Half Marathon for us on Sunday the 12th!

Despite a knee injury she not only completed it but she absolutely smashed her previous half time by 14 minutes!!

Massive well done Mel & a huge thank you for running for The Laila Milly Foundation xxxx


April Challenge

So my April Challenge! .....

Georgina Newton has challenged me to learn to crochet! With the aim of me producing something by the end of the month - yikes!

So on Thursday I went for my first ever crochet lesson and was taught by Georgina how to use a hook, make chain stitches, petals and rounds! By the end of the day I had produced my first ever granny square! Yay! Now this was done under the watchful eye of Georgina. I now have to try & remember what I've learnt and do it by myself as I need to produce a LOT more squares!

We've decided to make a LARGE blanket made up of lots of squares and here's where we'd like you to get involved! If you can crochet we would love for you to make a square or two to add to the blanket. The aim is to get as many different people as we can to make up the blanket which we would then auction off once completed to raise further funds for The Laila Milly Foundation.

You have until the beginning of the last week in April to get your squares to us so we can crochet them together. If you would like to get involved please message me so I can send you the pattern so the squares are all the same size! And will give you the address of where to send them.

Yay, my first group challenge!

Maya xxxx



March Challenge

Sorry I've been a bit quiet on here! I haven't forgotten about my challenge for March, in fact I have been practising and can now reveal this month's challenge!!

Jessica Holt has challenged me to use Makaton for a week. Makaton is a fantastic form of signing that uses both signs and symbols along with speech to help communicate. It is great for anyone who has communication difficulties, is hearing impaired or is non-verbal.

Jessica's daughter Darcy is 2 1/2 years old. Darcy was born with a condition called Tuberous Sclerosis which causes benign tumours to grow in different parts of the body. Hers are in her brain, heart, eyes and on her skin. She has multiple types of seizures, averaging 30-40 seizures a day. She is visually impaired and has delayed speech. But all that doesn't stop this beautiful little girl. Darcy and Jessica have been using Makaton for a year which has helped Darcy so much with her communication. She is very cheeky and has a huge personality! Oh and she's a huge Mr Tumble fan!

This is a fantastic challenge as a lot of the children who come to our centre use Makaton. I completed a basic course in December so it is great to be using the skills I learnt.

I will be posting a video every day next week on my Challenge Maya Facebook page here or you can click the image below. There's already a couple there. To make the challenge appropriate to what we do at our day centre I thought I would sing and sign a nursery rhyme each day.

Apologies for any mistakes I make during my videos!!! I'm a beginner!!

Hope you enjoy this first video and keep a look out each day for my next video!

Thanks, Maya xxxx


February Challenge

Saturday 28th February was the last day in my 28 day vegetarian challenge!! That was a long month (although technically the shortest!) I thought it was going to be a fairly simple challenge as the first two weeks were a breeze. This final week I've really missed chicken & found myself drooling over sausages! You will proud of me though, I have not had either meat or fish or anything containing meat products over the last month. So that my friends is a big tick challenge completed!

Thank you Stephen Knowles for this challenge. I enjoyed experimenting with different dishes & will definitely be having veggie days each week.

If you'd like to sponsor me for this or any of my challenges please visit www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya

And please keep the challenges coming in!

Thanks, Maya xxx



Here's a list of challenges that I already have in place for 2015:

June - 13th June - Completing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in under 12 hours. This is a group challenge so please get in touch if you'd like to take part (email fundraising@lailamillyfoundation.org.uk)

October - 11th October - I will be taking part in my first ever marathon!! I will be running (hopefully all the way and not hobbling near the end) 26.2 miles in the Yorkshire Marathon. This definitely deserves a couple of quid in sponsorship!! This is a challenge I set myself, madness I know!


I have had some other challenges suggested so I will discuss with the challengers when I'm doing them and will update the list.

My aim is to complete at least one challenge per month so please keep your ideas coming in guys and gals.

Cheers, Maya xxxx


Challenge Maya
Love my T-shirt created by my fabulous friends Terry & Rachel at Castleford Stitch & Print. Terry & Rachel have supported The Laila Milly Foundation for the last few years with various fundraising events including our annual family fun day.

If you'd like to support any of my challenges by donating a pound or two, I (and the rest of the team) would be ever so grateful!

Maya's Justgiving page



Sunday Jan 25th -
Blooming 'eck! That was not an easy 10km! In fact it was probably my slowest 10km to date... Squelching through mud, dodging 20 dogs & their owners all in a group, kids on bikes & doing that 4 times on the 4 laps around Pugneys' lake! Can count that as a tough mudder?! Lol! Time completed: roughly 58.30 (pressed the wrong button on my garmin & lostresult!! Argh!!) but I promise I did it, I have the mudder trainers & leggings to prove it! Huge thanks to Nadine, Neil & Neal for joining me on my first challenge. Huge thanks to Neal for starting off my sponsorship! Very kind of you.

If you'd like to sponsor any of my challenges please visit www.justgiving.com/ChallengeMaya or you can text MAYA15 £5 (or enter whatever amount you'd like to donate) to 70070. Thanks, muddy Maya xxx

11th January

Yikes not sure what I'm letting myself in for but here is my new challenge for 2015! Challenge Maya is about you setting me challenges to complete throughout 2015 to support the work of The Laila Milly Foundation.


How Challenge Maya works is that you post a challenge onto my Challenge Maya Facebook page, people take a vote on the challenges and the most popular ones and more importantly the ones that get picked must raise a minimum of £50 before the challenge is taken on! (I won't however do anything that breaks the law, puts my life at risk or causes life-long mental scarring to me or others!!! Ha ha!)

Although this is called Challenge Maya, some of the challenges will be done as group challenges as we will be planning various events throughout the year, so please keep a look out if you'd like to get involved!




Thank you for reading and please be kind!!!!!

Thanks in advance for your support,

Maya xxx

*** Please note I will NOT do a bungee jump as these are linked to many brain injuries and my brain doesn't need any more damage doing to it! ***

Take the first step

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Head Office
75a Kirkby Road
West Yorkshire

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