THOUSANDS of people around the world have been pouring litres of icy water over themselves and filming the result.

In fact, it’s fair to say the ice bucket challenge has taken the Internet by storm.

Celebrities and sports stars from far and wide have been queuing up to take part in the phenomenon, all in the name of charity.

They include Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, Usain Bolt, Gwen Stefani, the Beckham family and Kermit the Frog.

The craze appeared to start when former Boston College baseball player Peter Frates challenged professional baseball players to dump a bucket full of freezing cold water over their heads after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), known as Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in the UK.

The movement started to gather pace from mid-July, and in August, Macmillan Cancer Support retweeted a video of one of their supporters taking part in the challenge on their behalf.

People film themselves enduring the icy shower, upload the footage to social media sites, donate money to either Motor Neurone Disease Association or Macmillan Cancer Support and then nominate three other people to do the same within 24 hours.

The ice bucket challenge has so far raised more than £14 million for charity.

Southampton schoolboy Charlie Young, 14, took part in the chilly challenge in memory of his granddad, David Young, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in December.

He said: “I wanted to do the ice bucket challenge to help spread the awareness of the need for funds to help aid the research into a cure for cancer.

“I like that the idea of the ice bucket challenge is crazy but fun.

“It has captured the attention of the world, including many celebrities, and if they can do it so can we.

“Although it was very cold, I enjoyed doing the challenge.”

Daily Echo:

Charlie Young, 14, takes the ice bucket challenge

Denise Davies, head of community fundraising at the MND Association, said: "Without the amazing support of people, the MND Association simply would not be able to provide its vital support services and fund research to find a cure.

"Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease."

"It was really, really cold," said Neil Chapman, a charity worker from Southampton.

"But it's such a great idea to raise awareness that charities so desperately need.

Daily Echo:

Neil Chapman takes the challenge

"Although not everybody knows somebody who sufferers from motor neurone disease, sadly, everybody knows someone who has suffered from cancer.

"So it's good that people get to choose which charity they donate to. I chose Macmillan. It is just something a bit different that everyone can get involved in."