Ice bucket challenge fundraiser in line for top award

Robert and Paula Maguire of Ryhill near Wakefield give the thumbs up after completing the ice bucket challenge to raise funds for a Motor Neurone Disease charity

Robert and Paula Maguire of Ryhill near Wakefield give the thumbs up after completing the ice bucket challenge to raise funds for a Motor Neurone Disease charity

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A midwife who sparked off the ‘ice bucket challenge’ fundraising craze in the UK has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Paula Maguire, who has worked at Barnsley Hospital for the past two years, received the nomination for a British Citizen Award for her continued dedication to fundraising.

Paula and her husband Robert, who is nominated alongside her for the award, were responsible for bringing the ice bucket challenge to the UK in 2014, to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The challenge - which involved people having a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encourage donations to research - went viral on social media and Paula’s Just Giving page alone has raised an incredible £4m for the charity.

Paula, 41, said: “We knew we wanted to raise awareness as well as money for the cause and were thrilled with the way people embraced the Ice Bucket Challenge and with the money raised.

“I am extremely honoured and humbled to have been nominated for a British Citizen Award. Although we don’t do these things to be awarded, it is lovely to have been recognised for our fundraising.

“I am inspired by the people living with MND and I hope that the ice bucket challenge has highlighted the disease and the impact it has on people globally.

“We want to continue fundraising for the charity in the future and have already planned lots of marathons for 2016.”

The British Citizen Awards recognises determined and committed individuals who have done something extraordinary in the community or workplace, effectively impacting the lives of those around them.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, January 28, in the House of Lords.