Pub bowls in to help Whittlesey girl Maya get her new wheels

Maya Ratcliffe joins in the fun at the petanque day

Maya Ratcliffe joins in the fun at the petanque day - Credit: Archant

Whittlesey girl Maya Ratcliffe will soon be whizzing around on some new wheels thanks to the generosity of fundraisers

The teams

The teams - Credit: Archant

Three-year-old Maya has spina bifida and hydrocephalus and many other associated conditions including epilepsy.

She was born prematurely and also contracted meningitis at just a month old. Maya has already undergone over 15 operations of which five have been major life saving procedures to her brain and spine.

Maya cannot walk but NHS wheelchairs are too heavy for her to use easily and keep up with her friends at the alphabet day nursery in Whittlesey.

Her devoted parents Fay Dovey and Aaron Ratcliffe launched Maya’s Wheels to raise enough to by their determined young daughter a light weight wheelchair so she can join in with activities that she loves including dancing, racing, basketball and much more as she grows.


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Stuart and Toni Cross landlords of the Vine pub in Coates hosted a petanque day recently and raised £2,300 despite bad weather and now the family have been able to order her the longed-for new wheelchair.

Mr Cross explained: “Maya and her family have been visiting The Vine, which has a child friendly beer garden, and Maya has become a firm favourite with everybody. Her happy smile and infectious giggles have prompted an amazing response from staff and customers alike.

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“The day involved a Petanque doubles competition as well as raffles and games, and the proceeds from these, as well as substantial cash donations from both the pub and D and L Groundworks generated an amount just under £2,300.”

The day was so successful the pub are now planning to make Maya’s Day a permanent fixture in the pub’s calendar for August bank holiday Sunday.

Maya’s mum Fay Dovey said: “We had a fantastic day with a great turn out despite the weather and with everyone’s love, support and overwhelming generosity we have raised around £2,300 and we hope to order Maya’s new hot wheels next week.

“This means so much to us as a family and we are so grateful for everyone who has helped to make Maya’s dream come true. Especially Stu and Toni and their staff at The Vine. All the local businesses and people that donated raffle and auction prizes as well as the food for the day. The Cambs Times for promoting our event and all the generous wonderful people of Whittlesey, Coates and the surrounding area who supported us.”

In the meantime Maya is a finalist in the Pride of Peterborough Awards Child of Courage Award at the ceremony on Tuesday (September 15).

Ms Dovey added: “We are so excited for the big night and have everything crossed Maya is a winner! We have had an incredibly tough year and this award will mean so much to us all as a family representing how far we have come after nearly loosing her twice last year due to her health conditions.

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