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Appeal for Mary Seacole statue at St Thomas' raises first 100,000

A donation from the UNISON health union has helped the fundraising campaign to install a stature of Crimean war nurse Mary Seacole in the gardens of St Thomas' Hospital

Appeal for Mary Seacole statue at St Thomas' raises first 100,000
Martin Jennings' competition-winning design for the statue
Dave Prentis
Dave Prentis

Two years ago a design by Martin Jennings was chosen following a public competition. Since then fundraising to turn the proposal into reality has slowly reached the 100,000 mark.

"UNISON is very proud to be helping to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Mary Seacole," says UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis.

"130 years after she died, Mary's compassion and courage are truly inspiring and should be marked for hundreds of years to come. A statue of her, near the museum of Florence Nightingale, would finally give her the recognition she deserves.

"It cannot be right that of all the black people who have made a huge contribution to the UK, only one is marked with a statue. Recognising Mary's achievements would be a small step in the right direction."

Lord Soley, chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, added: "UNISON's generous grant has taken us past the landmark 100,000.

"So many of our contributions have come from small donations nurses, schools, community groups and others that for UNISON to cap it with their donation is a real boost to the appeal.

"This will be the first memorial to a named black woman in Britain and recognition of the courage and commitment of Mary Seacole and of nurses everywhere. I would like to thank the members of UNISON for their generosity and their commitment to this project."

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