Team swap scrubs for mud in charity challenge

Tough mudder charity challenge

Published 1 June 2022

Nurses usually pride themselves on their cleanliness, but a group from the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate put their high standards aside to take part in a muddy charity challenge.

A team from the emergency department joined fitness instructors Darren and Julie Vilton-Tebbutt, from Body Architects, to take on the Tough Mudder challenge – a 15km course with 30 tough obstacles and plenty of mud.

They were raising money for East Kent Hospitals Charity, to fund improvements to their department including a mobile phone charging unit for patients to use.

Joanna Williams, head of nursing for urgent and emergency care at the QEQM, said: “We are a real team in the emergency department and it was great fun to take on this challenge to help raise money for improvements for our patients and each other.

“Everyone puts 100 per cent into their work and had the same attitude to the Tough Mudder obstacle course – and although we were tired and aching by the end we were delighted to have completed it.

“Darren and Julie were fantastic at keeping people motivated and we couldn’t have done it without their help.”

So far the team have raised more than £1,800, and Darren said they were delighted to be able to help make a difference.

He said: “As Thanet residents, Julie and I have used the QEQM hospital various times, including for the delivery of our two children, and we have always had a fantastic experience.

“We wanted to give something back but never knew how. But when we spoke to Jo she highlighted how the little things can make a huge difference – a charging unit can be a lifeline and help people reach out to family and friends when they are in a situation that could be frightening and painful.

“Once she brought the needs of the department down to a micro level it was clear we could make a difference to others.

“The day was tough, with at times more mud than you would walk through, let alone crawl through on your stomach as we had to.

“But just like NHS departments we worked every obstacle as a team and everyone was so supportive of each other. It was a fantastic day and one we won't forget.”

The team are now planning their next challenge to raise money for East Kent Hospitals Charity. For more information about how you can fundraise to help the Trust’s hospitals, visit www.ekhcharity.org.uk.