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Businessman supports hospital awards as way of ‘giving back’

Businessman supports hospital awards as way of ‘giving back’

Katherine Kol-Bar
Katherine Kol-Bar

St George’s Hospital in Tooting is this week (Thursday 15 March) holding its first ever Staff Appreciation Awards, made possible by the support of the Pelican London Hotel & Residence and Yellow Brick Group.

Yellow Brick Group chairman and CEO, Johnathan Kol-Bar, decided to sponsor the awards in memory of his mother Katherine, who was eternally grateful for the care she received from the British after the Second World War.

Katherine Kol-Bar was liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 by the British Army when she was just 19 years old. Katherine lost both her mother and brother in the camp.

Katherine went on to have a family (two children, six grandchildren and now 15 great-grandchildren), but often spoke of the humanity, sensitivity and spirit of human kindness she experienced from the soldiers and medical personnel that cared for her in 1945.

Johnathan Kol-Bar said: “The impact of the British on her life and that of my family is hard to quantify and we are so thankful for the high values and personal integrity of those she came across and who gave her a life that she might have been denied.

“The NHS and the people within it are beacons of humanity, and the awards are my family’s way of continuing the appreciation of all that is great about St George’s.”

Jacqueline Totterdell, Chief Executive of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Katherine’s story and the generosity of her family is truly heart-warming. We were all very touched to hear that they recognised in us, the same compassion and kindness that saved Katherine’s life in 1945.

“We owe the Kol-Bar family and St George’s Hospital Charity a huge debt of gratitude for supporting us and arranging this celebration for the hard-working, caring and helpful people that make up Team St George’s.”

The Staff Appreciation Awards was launched with the support of St George’s Hospital Charity to recognise the excellent work of staff at the Trust. Over 210 Trust members of staff and supporters of St George’s Hospital Charity will gather together for the ceremony at Wandsworth Town Hall this Thursday.

Categories include ‘The Unsung Hero’ award, ‘Volunteer of the Year’, ‘Inspirational Leader’ and ‘Lifesaver of the Year’.

The awards also coincide with the 70th anniversary of the NHS, and a section of the evening will be devoted to marking this momentous year.

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