Havant borough councillors rise to the Ice Bucket Challenge

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WHEN she heard mention of an ice bucket, Leah Turner imagined champagne and strawberries.

Little did the Hayling councillor know that she would end up getting drenched in bitingly-cold water with ice cubes falling on to her head.

Councillors Jackie Branson and Leah Turner doing the ice bucket challenge

Councillors Jackie Branson and Leah Turner doing the ice bucket challenge

But the Conservative councillor took the Ice Bucket Challenge on the chin in a bid to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, as well as raise cash as part of her campaign to revamp play equipment on Hayling’s parks.

Cllr Turner joined Havant Conservative Cllr Jackie Branson for the madcap challenge, which is sweeping across the country and has enticed thousands of people to soak themselves in icy water in the name of charity.

People of all ages and backgrounds have taken part, including Sandy Hopkins, the chief executive of two councils, Havant and East Hampshire.

A mixture of excitement and nerves, Cllr Turner and Cllr Branson met up at Cllr Branson’s house in Warblington to do the challenge.

Cllr Branson’s son James Branson obliged by preparing two buckets of cold water, ready with fresh ice cubes from the freezer.

Cllr Turner was nominated by Hayling Cllr Andy Lenaghan and Cllr Branson was nominated by a former work colleague at St James’ Primary School, in Emsworth.

The pair were all smiles and full of nervous giggles as they announced they were doing the challenge, clinking their champagne glasses.

The smiles were replaced by yelps of shock and distress as the cold water took their breaths away.

Cllr Turner leapt off her feet and squealed ‘That was cold!’.

Drenched from head to foot, Cllr Turner, a retired private taxi hire operator, joked: ‘I thought it was wonderful – I enjoyed every second, NOT!

‘I’m glad I did it. Anything, nearly, for charity.’

With a towel wrapped around her, Cllr Branson, a retired teacher, said: ‘It was very cold, but definitely a worthwhile cause.

‘I have known people with motor neurone disease and I know what a dreadful disease it is.’

James, who managed to stay perfectly dry during the challenge, laughed: ‘You should never shy away from the opportunity of throwing an ice bucket over your mum!’

More than £48m has been raised for charity worldwide thanks to the craze.