King’s staff get muddy for their ward

11.05.16   Categories: Staff stories, Supporter stories

Image (left to right): Niamh Whelan (ward manager, participating), Melissa Marshman (participating), Natalie Lynch (participating), Kat Shilliday (supporting), Lauren Trevivian (participating), Tom wheeler (supporting) and Yolan McCleary (supporting)


Team Rays, a group of staff and their friends fundraising for Rays of Sunshine Ward at King’s, took on Tough Mudder recently and loved it. The team was made up of Natalie, Melissa, Paula, Lauren, Niamh, Katie, Vilma, David, Ben, Jess, Sam and Peter. They raised a remarkable £1,587 for their ward so far.

Photos from Tough Mudder:

Team Rays at Tough Mudder
Team Rays at Tough Mudder
Team Rays at Tough Mudder


Team Rays are a group of fundraisers who are tackling Tough Mudder in April for King’s. 23-year-old Natalie Lynch is a nurse on Rays of Sunshine ward, our world-renowned paediatric liver and bowel transplant centre, and she has brought the team together.

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Natalie says, ‘I have been a staff nurse on Rays of Sunshine ward for just over two years, and have managed to gather my fellow nurses, doctors and friends to get involved – though I’m not entirely sure they know what they have let themselves in for!’

Making a difference on a fantastic ward

Natalie and her team are fundraising for their own ward, which means everyone is extremely dedicated to taking on the challenge.

‘The nurses and doctors take great pride in working on this ward, and we wanted to be able to raise money to help improve the resources available, in order to alleviate the stress a hospital admission can cause a child.

‘Our initial target is £2,500 – this may be ambitious but we really hope we can reach it! The money raised will go towards replacing broken game consoles and remote controls, new games, DVDs and toys – particularly for our babies.’

Rays of Sunshine cares for children pre and post liver, intestinal and multi-organ transplant. Treating over 3,000 children per year, the ward often becomes home for children and their families, many of whom need to stay for months at a time.

Taking on Tough Mudder

A notoriously difficult challenge, Tough Mudder is an event that asks participants to take on a 10 – 12 mile (18 – 20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit. Uniquely, Tough Mudder puts camaraderie and team spirit over finisher rankings, and is not a race but a team challenge.

Natalie confesses, ‘To raise money for the children on the ward we have crazily decided to run, jump and roll around in mud, whilst attempting to get through a variety of impossible obstacles. We may even be electrocuted!’

In exchange for this bravery, sponsors are asked to donate to their cause.

‘We really appreciate everyone’s help, no matter how big or small the donation it really will make a difference for the children. Being admitted to hospital can be a very scary time for both children and their families, but being able to provide entertainment and distraction could help to make their experience just that bit better.’

You can help improve the hospital stay for children on Rays of Sunshine Ward by giving online.

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King’s College Hospital Charity. Registered Charity No. 1165593. Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 09987908. Registered address: King’s College Hospital, London SE5 9RS