Campaign to rename Jimmy Savile cafe after Paralympic founder

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2013
Ludwig Guttmann

Ludwig Guttmann

A campaign has been launched to rename the cafe at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville in honour of the Jewish doctor who founded the Paralympics Games.

Until last year the dining room at was called "Jimmy's Cafe", acknowledging the support shown for the hospital by entertainer Jimmy Savile. But in the light of sexual abuse allegations against him, the Royal Voluntary Service, which runs the cafe, renamed it Cafe @WRVS.

Now the Poppa Guttmann Trust is pushing for it to be called "Poppa's" -as Sir Ludwig Guttmann was affectionately known by staff and patients -as a permanent memorial to the surgeon's pioneering work. When Sir Ludwig arrived at Stoke Mandeville in 1944 as a refugee from the Nazis, he encouraged the injured servicemen in his care to train for a sports day, which was the forerunner of the Paralympics.

Mike Mackenzie, chairman of the trust, said: "People have expressed a wish for the name 'Poppa' to be used. It has a friendly, appropriate feel to it."

But the Royal Voluntary Service says it has no plans to change the name again.

Last updated: 6:45am, June 7 2013