SWINDON Women’s Aid staff have become the latest to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping the country.

On Thursday afternoon seven members of staff at the charity trekked to Westlea Fire Station to receive their dousing of ice cold water by some of the local firefighters, as they took part in the latest charitable craze in aid of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

For the past month challengers have nominated their friends, family members and colleagues to film themselves being showered with icy water to raise awareness and money for charity within 24 hours of being nominated. They are then expected to make a donation, and then nominate somebody else. If they do not complete the challenge, they are expected to make a much larger donation to charity of £100 or more.

Abby Ayre, admin officer and PA to Olwen Kelly, the director of Swindon Women’s Aid, was responsible for organising the event and arranging the chilly reception for her colleagues.

She said: “It was quite fun actually, they weren’t so happy before we did it yesterday but afterwards I think they were pleased to have done it.

“It just takes your breath away, it’s difficult to describe how it feels. We were all sat on the bench and planned to do it that way. It was so cold.

“I was nominated and so I arranged for some of us to go and have it done together. Because it’s for the charity too it was something everyone wanted to support.”

So far their efforts have raised £200, and participants aim to split the money they receive evenly between the MND Association, which supports people with ALS, Women’s Aid and Macmillan.

“I think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a really great way to raise awareness, and it’s just great how many people are getting involved and doing this,” said Abby.

“I mean it’s just taken Facebook and social media by storm and I am sure there are a lot more people who know about ALS than did before.

“Also with the charity people are expected to make a donation too, so that has helped and will mean that more work can be done.

“We wanted to give money to ALS because of course it’s the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge but because some people wanted to do it for Macmillan too, we decided just to collect all the money and split it three ways.

“They are all causes close to everyone’s hearts.”

l To find out more about Swindon Women’s Aid or to donate to the cause, visit www.swindonwomensaid.org