Paula Maguire & Robert Maguire


West Yorkshire

Paula & Robert Maguire, with Simran Soin of Places for PeoplePaula and her husband Robert, of Ryhill in Wakefield, brought the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ to the UK, when they set up the official justgiving page and text donation number to raise cash for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. After seeing the Ice Bucket Challenge in the US, the couple decided to bring it to the UK.

Midwife Paula was one of the first people in the country to pour an ice-cold bucket of water over her head to raise money for the UK charity, which she has supported since 2009, when her uncle, Stuart Hughes, died from the disease. Their aim was to raise £500 for the charity – but the video of the challenge quickly went viral, with thousands of people, including celebrities, taking part across the country.

Their justgiving page raised a staggering £4 million, with thousands more contacting the charity directly to donate a further £3 million. The £7 million that was raised equated to about half of the MNDA’s annual fundraising target – and it was raised in just three weeks thanks to Paula and Robert relentlessly promoting the challenge. The funds raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge have resulted in many projects being brought forward by the MNDA. One such project is that young people in West Yorkshire affected by the intrusion of MND in their lives can now apply for a grant of £250 to help with any type of activity.

This can take them out of the home environment and provide respite for a few hours. Dr Douglas Graham, Director of Fundraising at the MNDA said “In total the Ice Bucket Challenge raised £7.2 million for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the space of three weeks, which has funded a whole new programme of work that will last for the next six years.”

Nominated by Kelsey Maguire