Professor unveils Mary Seacole statue

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A Sheffield Hallam University professor has helped to unveil a new statue, honouring the Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole.

It is the first statue in the UK dedicated to a named black woman, thanks to the work of many volunteers including professor of nursing Laura Serrant, who is one of the ambassadors of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

The appeal for the Jamaican-born nurse to be honoured, for her services in caring for wounded British soldiers during the 1853-1856 conflict, took 12 years but finally, last week, the bronze statue was unveiled in the garden of St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Over £500,000 was raised through donations and Chancellor George Osborne announced that £240,000 of LIBOR banking fines would be donated to the appeal to pay for the installation.

Professor Laura Serrant, said: “As a previous Mary Seacole Nursing Leadership Award winner, a black woman, academic and most importantly, a nurse, I have looked to inspiring and determined leaders to guide me. Mary Seacole, for so many reasons, is one of the giants on whose shoulders I proudly stand.”