Cartier Masthead Final Weeks

Donate $6 for Maya, change a family forever

Beatrice Smith and Amanda Whitley

We’ve previously written about the bittersweet comfort that Maya’s Rest has brought to Canberrans. 

Maya’s Rest is a privately owned and operated refuge for families experiencing the illness or loss of a child, founded by the Maguire family after the loss of their beloved Maya (pictured above) from a rare form of soft tissue cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma, in 2013.

Finding a lack of facilities equipped to deal with their situation both during Maya’s treatment and after her death, Tash and Mark Maguire set out to change that in the hope that future families in their situation would have more options.

Maya with her family

Maya with her family

Thus, Maya’s Rest was created. Set on 12 acres just outside Yass with beautiful views over the valley, stays are offered free of charge to approved families, like a B&B but with no costs involved and all meals provided. This allows the family to relinquish responsibility for the small stuff and focus on their family. In addition, there are peaceful views, wide open play spaces, a cubby and playground and even the opportunity to interact with local farm animals.

Maya's Rest

Maya’s Rest

For her efforts, Tash Maguire was recognised as the 2016 Lifeline Rising Women of Spirit and more recently was named as a 2017 AMP Tomorrow Maker.

At the moment, Maya’s Rest offers mini-breaks every few weeks, however, the goal is for the facility to offer respite on a full-time basis. As the date that would have been Maya’s sixth birthday approaches (2 December), the Maguires have created a Chuffed crowdfunding campaign to help make full-time respite a reality.

We are running the crowdfunding campaign in hope of raising enough money to start planning and building a two bedroom cottage at Maya’s Rest, so we can offer free respite on a full-time basis,” explains Tash. 

“Families we host at Maya’s Rest are always so grateful for the chance to escape daily stresses they are under and have an opportunity to spend quality time as a family. With all their meals and optional activities provided, they really have nothing else to do but relax and recharge.”

Maya's Rest

Maya’s Rest

To help, you can donate $6 or more in Maya’s memory towards this goal, each little bit helping families cope with situations families should never have to cope with.

As the campaign states, it’s a short and sweet two-week appeal. Starting on the four-year anniversary of Maya’s passing (27 November), it will run until the two year anniversary of the opening of Maya’s Rest on 12 December, so don’t put off donating as the campaign will close after that time.

90% of the money raised will be put towards building a two-bedroom cottage, allowing full-time respite to become a reality. The remaining 10% will allow Maya’s family to get on top of bills and mortgage payments.

Donate here or find out more about Maya’s Rest here

Feature image: Maya. Annette Audrey Photography.


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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