SLIDESHOW: Ice Bucket charity craze hits the county

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People across the county have been helping raise money and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease by just picking up a bucket full of cold water and tipping it over themselves.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is filling up everyone’s Twitter timelines and Facebook feeds with people posting pictures and videos of themselves getting soaked for charity.

Rich McNab, from Kettering, doing the ice bucket challenge

Rich McNab, from Kettering, doing the ice bucket challenge

While global stars like David Beckham have got involved, the craze has also been embraced here in the county, where the Motor Neurone Disease Association is based.

The UK charity may not have started the fundraiser, but it is thrilled to see awareness being raised about the disease.

Philippa Sillis from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which is based in Northampton, said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed, it’s been unbelievable.

“It’s brilliant because it actually started in the States and has made its way over here.

“It’s just caught people’s imagination.

“People who are global stars to sports stars, politicians and actors are doing it. It’s just absolutely amazing.”

Those from the county who have accepted the nomination include Corby gymnast Dan Keatings, Chris Curry from Niamh’s Next Step in Wellingborough, Corby mayor Anthony Dady and many of the Northampton Saints team.

Philippa said: “Northampton Saints are a team at the heart of the town and to have their support is great for us.

“We are a national charity but we are based in Northampton so to have that local support is absolutely fantastic.”

MP for Corby and East Northants Andy Sawford and Ritchie Jeune from Kettering Town FC have also taken on the challenge.

But behind the ice bucket challenge is a serious message about MND, a progressive disease which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord and means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. There is currently no cure for MND but symptoms can be managed to help people achieve the best possible quality of life.

Philippa said: “30 per cent of people who have MND die within a year of being diagnosed.

“This is why it’s so important what we are trying to do. That’s why it doesn’t matter that it’s going to the ALS association, it’s all working towards the same aim.”