Sheffield Hallam Professor Honours Crimean War Nurse
1st July 2016
A Sheffield Hallam University professor will be helping to unveil a new statue honouring the Crimean War nurse, Mary Seacole.
It will be the first statue in the UK dedicated to a named black woman thanks to the work of many volunteers including Sheffield Hallam's professor of nursing, Laura Serrant, who is one of the ambassadors of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal. For the past 12 years, trustees, ambassadors and supporters of the appeal, which include athlete, Denise Lewis, have been campaigning for the Jamaican-born nurse to be honoured for her services in caring for wounded British soldiers during the 1853-1856 conflict. Today [30 June], the bronze statue will be unveiled in the garden of St Thomas' Hospital, London, directly opposite the Houses of Parliament. Over £500,000 was raised through donations from thousands of individual supporters as well as several larger donors and in November last year, 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 her intelligence, perseverance and unswerving belief in rights, responsibility and above all the need to help where it is needed, is one of the giants on whose shoulders I proudly stand. "I am delighted that the Appeal's years of campaigning and hard work have been rewarded and we can give Mary Seacole the recognition she so thoroughly deserves." Lord Clive Soley, chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, said: -We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the statue, and to the many nurses, schools and army units who donated funds for the appeal. We would also like to thank the Chancellor who made this possible with a donation of £240,000 for the installation of the statue. -The unveiling will be a truly memorable event, and after 12 years of campaigning, we look forward to finally granting Mary Seacole the acknowledgement she deserves for her selfless support of British soldiers. -The statue will be a fantastic new landmark on the South Bank providing much needed recognition of the contribution black and ethnic minorities have made throughout British history and a celebration of the UK's diversity.