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Cash shortfall threatens Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal


15 May 2015

The Chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal has made an urgent appeal for funds in order to keep the project on track for an autumn unveiling.

The statue, en route to be the first of a named black woman in the UK, is due to be unveiled in the grounds of London’s St Thomas’ hospital, directly opposite the Houses of Parliament in autumn 2015. 

The RCN is a strong supporter of the project and Regional Director of RCN London Bernell Bussue is among the trustees of the appeal. 

A truly memorable event 

Lord Clive Soley, who launched the Appeal in November 2003, said: “We have raised over £400,000 in cash or kind since 2003 but we are still £70,000 short of the necessary funds to ensure the unveiling goes ahead as planned this year. 

“Much of what we have raised comes from small contributions, nurses, schools, army units and many others as well as a number of large and generous contributions. We are very grateful to all those who have supported this project, but if we don't get the outstanding amount within the next few weeks, work on the statue will come to a halt and delay the unveiling for at least 6 months and possibly longer. 

“We need contributions urgently. Everything is in place for a truly memorable event in the early autumn.” 

Support for the appeal 

The RCN has supported the statue appeal alongside sister unions Unite and Unison, banks Coutts and Barclays, and a number of Army units whose predecessors fought in the Crimea. A 40-strong team of appeal ambassadors appointed since 2003 includes opera singer Sir Willard White, former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman, jazz musician Courtney Pine, writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen and Casualty star Suzanne Packer, as well as frontline nurses and trade union leaders.