South Asian Heritage Month is an annual event where from 18 July – 17 August the history, culture, achievements and contributions of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are celebrated across the UK.

Across the month, we will celebrate our 608 colleagues of South Asian heritage by shining a spotlight on those who are compassionate, inclusive and committed in everything they do.

Kerana Thambu, Ward Manager of Lobelia Ward at the Tamarind Centre received not one, but two nominations, the first came from Lucy Harborne who said:

“Kerana is a nurse who embodies the spirit of caring for others. She is selfless, humble and works to such a high standard of care that she is an example to all. She is not afraid to ask for help when she needs it but also freely gives her own time and energy to those who are in need of it, whether it is service users or colleagues. I have always said that if I were to be in hospital, I would want a nurse just like Kerana to look after me, and there is no truer way to express my regard for her than this.”

The second shoutout came from Daniel Wheeldon who said:

“Kerana is an inspiration to everyone. She embodies all the values people associate with being a nurse with her warm, caring personality and her drive to help others is at the forefront of everything she does. Her compassion and empathy for people is apparent to all. She has a strong work ethic, always putting others first. Kerana is liked by everyone she works with, because she is a good colleague who is a pleasure to work with. She is also extremely modest and would prefer to hide her light. She will no doubt be embarrassed by this nomination. She is exactly the sort of person the Trust should celebrate!”

Kerana kindly gave us a small insight into her heritage and what she loves most about it. She said:

“I am from Chennai, Tamil Nadu in the southern part of India. It was formerly known as Madras and it is a city located by the coast. The climate is warm and humid. My mother tongue is Tamil.”

“I came to UK in October 2003 as an adaptation nurse, and I have been working at the Trust for nearly 20 years. I have worked in various settings, currently I am working at the Tamarind Centre. I am passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives and I love to talk to others.”

“One of my favourite things in our culture is the hospitality and food which go hand in hand. That’s why I like to cook with service users on the ward and celebrate diversity through different cuisines. A staple dish in my culture is idly and dosa which is a breakfast meal.”

“I was surprised and humbled to be nominated as an unsung hero for the South Asian Heritage Month, but I feel very grateful to be recognised as a valued member of the organisation.”