Award joy for ice bucket challenge pioneers

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

A dedicated Ryhill couple who kickstarted the biggest social media craze of 2014 and raised £4m for charity have been nominated for two awards.

Robert and Paula Maguire, of Hammerton Farm Avenue, launched the ice bucket challenge in this country and their efforts raised more than £4m for the Motor Neurona Disease Association (MNDA).

Earlier this month their work was recognised when they were nominated for two fundraising awards.

They have been shortlisted in the best volunteer fundraiser category at this year’s National Fundraising Awards and Mrs Maguire has been nominated for a Sue Ryder Yorkshire Women of Achievement Award.

Mrs Maguire said: “We both feel really shocked but also honoured to have been nominated.

“We’ve been raising money for the MNDA since my uncle Stuart Hughes died from the condition in 2009, aged 50.

“We do these events to raise money and awareness for a good cause and certainly don’t expect to receive any recognition in return.

“It will be an honour to be there representing the Motor Neurone Disease Association at both award ceremonies.”

The couple were nominated for the National Fundraising Award by the charity’s director of fundraising, Douglas Graham.

He said: “Paula and Robert have organised many events raising almost £12,000 for the MNDA nationally and more than £7,000 for their local West Yorkshire branch.

“However in 2014, they did something amazing when they launched the Ice Bucket Challenge in the UK and set up the Ice Bucket Challenge for MND JustGiving page.

“The rest is history. The page raised more than £4m and in total the challenge raised £7 million for the MNDA. This has funded a whole new programme of work that will last for the next six years.”