A BUCKLEY slimmer has spoken about her massive charity challenge that would not be possible without her phenomenal weight loss.

Laura Millward wanted to make her 50th year a spectacular one so started her Slimming World journey and lost 50 pounds (just over three-and-a half-stone) in time for her milestone birthday.

Speaking to the Leader, she said that seeing photos of herself left her feeling ‘devastated’ to see that she had ‘given up on herself’.

She said: “I was on lifelong heartburn medication, just starting hormone replacement therapy and my daughter had announced that we [Laura and her husband] were going to be grandparents for the first time.”

At the same time as these factors came into her mind, her father was diagnosed with vascular dementia. It was then that the former Argoed High student decided to take control as she did not want her lifestyle choices to contribute towards any health issues.

Mrs Millward became a member at her local Slimming World group and set herself a target of losing 50 pounds before she reached the age of 50 in May – an achievement she celebrated a month ahead of her plan.

In her fiftieth year, and 50lbs lighter, Mrs Millward has said she is more active and fitter than ever before.

She said: “I want to give a shout for women of a certain age just to say ‘you can!’ and getting older does not mean your health must deteriorate as well.

“During this weight loss, eating myself slimmer with the food optimising plan, I also made a huge change to my lifestyle. I have always been a couch potato, hated exercise and just did not do any. After losing two stones, I downloaded a Couch to 5k app on my phone.”

Mrs Millward built herself up from running for 60 seconds in her first session to running full 5k’s within nine weeks. The consultant of her own Slimming World group said that she now completes three runs a week.

She now has her sights set on raising £5,00 for Dementia UK – with various fundraising events, but a key event being the Manchester Half Marathon in October.

She added: “After speaking to lots of people affected by dementia, I am running each mile of the Manchester race for a different person, saving the last 1.1 miles for my Dad. I cannot express how much my life has changed since running, it is exercise for the body and the mind which is vital.”

An excited Mrs Millward is busy training and fundraising through her ‘Make 50 Count’ social media page, planning lots of activities and events centred around the run with the hope of finishing with a charity ball in aid of Dementia UK.

You can find her Virgin Money Giving page at


– if you wish to contribute to her cause.