The Mary Seacole Trust has joined with the Mary Seacole Memorial Association to raise funds for essential work on the plinth of our magnificent statue and memorial plaque at St Thomas' Hospital, and for the upkeep of Mary's grave.
Ask anyone who is Britain's most iconic Black historical figure and you will probably get the answer "Mary Seacole" . Yet Mary, a nurse who cared for soldiers in the Crimea nearly 150 years ago, was lost from history for nearly 100 years. Like so many Black people who have made a contribution to our society, Mary was forgotten. That is until Connie Marks MBE and a number of other women of Caribbean heritage discovered her grave and inspired others to bring Mary's story to life. Today, Mary’s place in history is at long last recognised.
In June 2016, a statue of Mary was unveiled in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, opposite the Houses of Parliament, following a 12 year campaign led by Lord Soley and Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. In those few years it has become an important London landmark, an attraction for visitors from various social and racial backgrounds, to discover a brilliant role model, an important sculpture that draws on the story of a 19th century heroine to make a statement about the sort of society Britain is trying to become. Mary carries all our aims and aspirations.
Mary is truly a woman of the people - her statue came about as a result of donations large and small, many from individuals craving a landmark that represents Britain's diversity. Her grave in North West London is cared for by volunteers.
You helped us achieve the statue, but now we need your help again.
Our aim is to raise £50,000 by the end of 2023.
Mary is more important today than ever. As we tackle racism in society and encourage those who promote diversity, it is important that Mary remains a focus for that work and an inspiration for coming generations of young people.
Please support our appeal. We welcome donations large and small.