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Bucketfuls of people in Medway take on ALS ice bucket challenge including sufferer Jody Duff and mhs homes boss Ashley Hook

By Medway Messenger reporter

Supermarkets have seen ice sales rocket as the ice bucket craze continues.

The challenge in which people are nominated to be soaked with a bucket of ice water has taken over social media sites in recent weeks.

Appropriately named Iceland in Chatham High Street has seen a 20% surge in the number of ice bags sold in the last few weeks, compared to this time last year.

Even Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley and Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon got involved in the ice bucket challenge

The trend is to raise money and awareness for ALS, or Motor Neuron Disease as it is known in the UK. It involves simply tipping a bucket of icy water over your head – and filming it for everybody else’s amusement – before donating to the charity.

Iceland’s branch manager Steve Sidwell said: “Obviously sales generally increase in the summer with the warmer wether, but the last few weeks haven’t been particularly sunny and we think we have seen about 20% extra sales, compared to normal summers.

“A few of the staff got involved in the challenge as well. I’ve been nominated but have a heart condition so couldn’t take part, but we have all donated to MND.”

Last week supermarket giant Tesco pledged to donate the profit made from extra ice sales to MND, and in just two days their total had reached £20,000.

Kerry James, a manager at Gillingham’s superstore said: “We have seen 10 times the amount of ice being delivered to store than we would normally get at this time of year.

“The staff are constantly filling up the freezers, but every time you walk past they seem to be depleted.

“Over the weekend, bearing in mind it was bank holiday and our hours were reduced, we still sold over 450 extra bags.

“Over the last seven days 1,300 bag soared off the shelves.”

Medway Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple after taking part in the ice bucket challenge

The store was also expecting sales to increase again over the weekend and throughout this week, and ordered in more than 2,500 bags. At £1 a go, the store is expected to raise into the thousands for MND.

Nationwide the ice bucket challenge has raised more than £3m for the MND Association and more for other charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support.

Ashley Hook, the chief executive of Medway’s largest landlord mhs homes, completed his drenching last week, after being nominated by Cllr Vince Maple, Medway Labour Group Leader.

Staff at mhs homes were invited to bid for the chance to pour the bucket of iced water over Mr Hook.

Nigel Woodgate from Edmundson Electrical pours the bucket of water over Ashley Hook, chief executive of mhs homes

The highest bidder joined Nigel Woodgate from Edmundson Electrical to help Mr Hook raise more than £100 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Kent’s two most senior police officers each had a bin full of icy water dumped on them on Thursday and firefighters even made a surprise appearance with a hose to soak them even further.

Chief Constable Alan Pughsley and Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon were nominated by Inspector Amanda Tillotson.

Mr Pughsley donated to MND Association and Kent Victim Support. Mr Brandon gave to the MND Association as well as The Wyvern School in Ashford for people with severe learning difficulties.

A terminally ill man with MND has welcomed the ice bucket challenge for raising awareness of his condition.

Jody Duff with friends and family at the funday for MNDA at the Victoria Cross pub, Lordswood

Jody Duff, of Fanconi Road, Lordswood, was diagnosed with MND is 2004. He has been fundraising for the MND Association and so far raised more than £30,000.

Jody, 37, said: “The recent global ice bucket craze has helped us raise an additional £3,467.”

Jody is set to do the challenge himself after being nominated by nightclub boss Aaron Stone, who owns the Casino Rooms in Rochester.

Aaron also nominated former Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan, her finance Mark Wright, from The Only Way is Essex, and the Casino’s Ross Hutchins. Jody hopes they will be doing a group challenge publicly to raise even more cash.

Through a fun day, a sponsored walk and a £10,000 donation from Coldplay, Jody and his friends and family have collected more than £32,000 for the MND Association.

Jody said: “When we started our Mid Kent MND Association fundraiser I could never of imagined how well it would do.

“We’ve just passed the £30,000 mark which is amazing considering our original target was £5,000. ”

Nationwide the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than £3m for MND Association.
MND kills five people every day in the UK. The cause is unknown and there is no cure.

To donate to the MND Association text ICED55 (plus the amount you wish to donate) to 70070.

Visit www.justgiving.com/jodyduff to donate to Jody’s fundraising page.

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