Braunton woman is raising money for Maria Curie by completing 50 challenges ahead of her 50th birthday.

While turning 50 may worry many people, one Braunton woman is taking it as an opportunity to try her hand at new challenges for charity.

Fiona Leighton-Fowler has decided to complete 50 challenges before her milestone birthday next May – and all to raise money and awareness for the charity Marie Curie.

The tasks will range from learning magic tricks and football skills to taking on a 24-hour kayak, cycling 50 miles, taking 50 selfies and walking over hot coals.

Fiona, who will also have to carry out 50 random acts of kindess, gatecrash a wedding and learn to surf, said she was inspired to take on the challenges when she decided to learn Italian this year.

She said: “It then occurred to me that a good way to celebrate this milestone would be to complete 50 challenges in all, so I have asked, and in some cases reluctantly allowed, friends, family and local businesses to set me a series of challenges to raise money for Marie Curie.

“The idea is when I complete a challenge, whoever set it has to pay at least £5 to Marie Curie – and if I don’t complete it, then I have to pay up.

“It’s stepping outside of my comfort zone, but nothing I can do will come close to the challenges the terminally ill patients helped by Marie Curie will face.”

Jessie Head, Marie Curie fundraiser for Devon, said the charity had also set Fiona a task: “We’ve challenged her to do a supermarket shop in our daffodil outfit,” she said.

Follow Fiona’s blog at or donate via her JustGiving page at