The ice bucket challenge is the new big thing to take over most of our social media feeds, and, as the name slightly gives away, it involves chucking an ice cold bucket of water over yourself, filming it, and sticking it on social media. This is all done with the aim of raising awareness and donations for ALS/MND.

Although this cause has had mass popularity, which has led to huge publicity around the disease, the challenge itself has been questioned by some.

OnePoll asked a nationally representative sample of 1000 British people what their thoughts were of the ice bucket challenge and what their knowledge was on the disease.

Who’s donating?

It was found that 57% of 18-24 year old’s compared to only 13% of over 55 year old’s have actually been nominated for the ice bucket challenge.

Of the people who have been nominated:

42% donated and did the ice bucket challenge

23% just donated

19% didn’t donate or do the challenge

16% just did the challenge

When the people who were nominated but didn’t donate were asked why, it was found that 42% would rather donate to a charity they have researched and 14% felt they didn’t need to donate because they did the challenge.

Out of the people who did donate, 41% gave money to ALS/MND, 36% donated to Macmillan, while 12% gave to both charities and 11% gave to another charity altogether.


When asked what ALS stands for, the majority of people (57%) answered that they didn’t know, compared to just under a quarter of individuals (23%) who answered correctly – stating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

52% of people however knew that ALS is also known as MND or Motor Neurone Disease.

40% of Brits knew muscle weakness was a common symptom of ALS, along with 36% knowing wasting of muscles is often associated with sufferers of ALS. 33% also knew impairment of the use of arms/legs is another horrible result of the disease for many sufferers.

With that being said, the majority of people answered that they didn’t know what the common symptoms of ALS/MND are (45%).

Since the popularity of the ice bucket challenge on social media to help raise awareness, a massive 80% of people within this research stated that they still feel like they actually don’t know much about ALS/MND.

Thoughts on ALS and the challenge

OnePoll found that 38% of adults see the challenge as a great way for a charity to get well known.

Sadly however, 34% thought that celebrities taking part as just a way to get themselves publicity.

Further, some respondents put arguments up again the ice bucket challenge…

“I think it (the ice bucket challenge) has been misinterpreted and has now become more about people throwing water on themselves than either donations to the ALS charity or raising awareness about ALS”

And some highlighted how the message can sometimes be forgotten…

“I didn’t even know it (the ice bucket challenge) was for charity!”

Others have conflicting thoughts over the challenge…

“People follow these trends and don’t necessarily care that there is a charity behind it. They don’t think they have to donate, or don’t even know. They do it because it’s the thing to do, and for no other reason. However, a lot of people have donated and the charity has grown massively in awareness and that is an immeasurably good thing… I guess that’s how it grows.”

But many still see there are benefits…

“This is a really good way of donating to this terrible disease and if anybody gets nominated please do the challenge and don’t forget to nominate”

If you would like to find out more about this disease please follow the link below:

To donate to Macmillian:
Donate £3 to Macmillan by sending ICE to 70550

To donate to ALS/AND:
Donate £3, to Motor Neurone Disease Association by sending ICED55 £3 to 70070