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Hartlepool woman joins celebs doing ice-bucket challenge – but gets more than she bargained for

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WHAT have David Beckham, Taylor Swift. Tom Cruise and Donna Watson from Hartlepool got in common?

The answer is they have all done the ice bucket challenge for charity – and Donna admitted: “It was absolutely freezing”.

The 44-year-old, who works as a porter for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, was nominated by a friend in Manchester and thought it was going to be a family occasion.

She expected to brave the chilly challenge in front of one friend and one member of her family.

As a complete surprise, said Donna, her niece, Leigh Watson, was busily working behind the scenes and arranging for around 30 people to be there.

And when Donna did finally face up to the freezing fundraiser, she had to do it on a field – in public!

But she loved every minute of it and said: “I thought it would be my friend and my sister watching, and then people just kept turning up. There were four or five people throwing water at me and another 30 watching”.

The whole thing started tamely when Donna got to pour a bucket of ice cold water over her own head.

Then it went public. Donna said: “They had me in a field behind the Brierton shops, dressed with a rubber ring, armbands and goggles!

“It was all a bit of a shock and it really took my breath away, but I made sure I had some fluffy warm towels ready for me afterwards”.

Donna is originally from the Rift House area of Hartlepool and now lives in Stockton to be nearer her work at the University Hospital of North Tees.

But she came back to her hometown for her challenge as that is where most of her family lives.

To keep up the momentum, Donna has nominated a friend from Ireland and her works supervisor to do the challenge next.

The ice bucket challenge involves people either having a bucket of ice dumped on their head or donating to the ALS Association in the United States.

Donna still gave money to the cause despite taking the challenge.

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