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Ambassadors

Ordered A-Z

Gail Adams

Head of Nursing, UNISON

Immensely proud and privileged to be an ambassador for the Mary Seacole campaign.  I will work tirelessly to promote this cause and ensure that funds are raised, we will build a home for Mary.

Obi Amadi

Lead Professional Officer for the trade union Unite/CPHVA (Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association)

I have been a long term supporter of all aspects of the Mary Seacole legacy from a personal and professional point of view.  As the Lead Professional Officer for the Unite health sector I understand how important it is to explain history and promote Mary Seacole's legacy to others. I am committed to this cause and have been actively promoting her legacy and will continue to do so.

Alexander Amosu

Business Entrepeneur

Mary Seacole is part of our history and it is important we celebrate as well as give the new generation an understanding of her achievements. My parents always said you cannot know where you're going without knowing where you're coming from. So when I was asked to support the Mary Seacole Appeal, it wasn't a question of yes but a must!!!

Cecilia Anim

President of the Royal College of Nursing

The memorial is an important way to commemorate Mary Seacole's dedication and commitment to nursing, and the work that she did in caring for wounded soldiers. The need to create this memorial is becoming more important and gains more poignancy as the years go by; Mary Seacole deserves the same recognition for her important role in nursing as many other figures in medicine and nursing have received.

Charmagne  Barnes

Dean - College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare, University of West London

As Dean of the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare at the University of West London, I feel our students need to engage with the legacy of Mary Seacole. Her driving passion and tenacity has helped shaped nursing as it is today, with its appreciation of diversity and compassionate care. Mary Seacole has cemented her place in history and public appreciation of her work is long overdue.

Malorie  Blackman OBE

Award winning children’s author and Children’s Laureate: 2013-2015

I am thrilled and honoured to have been asked to become an ambassador for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal. From the moment I found out about Mary Seacole, I felt she was a true inspiration; a woman who did what she felt was right in spite of the many obstacles and naysayers that got in her way. What could be more fitting as a tribute to such a great lady than to have a statue erected in her honour before St Thomas' Hospital and looking towards the Houses of Parliament?

Yinglen Butt

Deputy Chief Nurse/Community, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

I grew up hearing about Mary Seacole, this great nurse and humanitarian. Her legacy speaks to all ages; a message for all, 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again.' Her statue is well overdue.

Tim Campbell MBE

Entrepreneur and winner of BBC2 'The Apprentice'

Mary Seacole's courageous efforts, overcoming adversity and discrimination in order to follow her desire to help others, reminds me of the lengths my own mother went to as she sacrificed so much so that we, her children, could have the greatest start in life.  So as a woman, nurse and businesswoman I respect Mary Seacole as she had no excuses; just a focus on getting the job done - a tenacity that earned her the respect of her peers and cemented her place in history.

Dr Geoffrey Day

Fellows' & Eccles Librarian, Winchester College

Discovering the Mary Seacole photograph in the Winchester College Crimea scrapbook was an exciting moment, and the College is delighted to be able to help the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal by giving them permission for the image to be used for fund-raising.

Colonel A P Finnegan

PhD L/QARANC, Professor of Nursing and Head of the Academic Department of Military Nursing - Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham

Conflict and war, with the requirement to provide clinical and nursing care to injured young men have shaped health and healthcare throughout the world.  In providing care for soldiers, Mary Seacole displayed commitment, trust, integrity, and compassion that we now value as intrinsic to all nursing duties. That she displayed these virtues within a truly hostile, unpredictable and challenging environment truly make her a role model. It is therefore an honour to support the recognition of the work of Mary Seacole. Her diligence and tenacity in backing her own judgement are characteristics that all nurses should value, encourage and acknowledge.

Rodney Hinds

Sports and features editor, The Voice newspaper

I became an Ambassador in order to help promote the legacy that Mary Seacole left behind.In my book she is a genuine heroine and to be associated with the organisation is a pleasure and a privilege. The outstanding contribution of Mary Seacole will live forever and anything I can do to keep that momentum going, I will do.

Susan Howkins

Board Member, Royal College of Nursing North West Inner London branch

The legacy inherited from Nursing in The Crimea must be kept alive. Mary Seacole, a distintve innovator, cared with dedicated compassion, determination and adaptability to achieve best possible resources for patients in her charge. Mary demonstrated immense fortitude and her motto could well have been 'You can do it if you try'.  She is an excellent symbol of diversity.

Judith Jacob

Actress

Mary Seacole was an amazing, strong and vey brave woman. She ventured to war torn places to attend wounded soldiers. Her place in history would have been shouted from the roof tops if she was of a different hue and I would have been taught about her in the same breath as Florence Nightingale. I am so pleased that the future generation of children will know about her as she will have her rightful place in history. 

Paul Jebb

Experience of care Professional Lead - NHS England (Secondment from post of Assistant Director of Nursing/Patient Experience, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Mary Seacole truly displayed the 6Cs and had her patients at the centre of all she did. She displayed courage and competence in caring for others and enhanced the care she delivered within conditions that were squalid. The care she delivered showed that her patient’s experiences of care was of paramount importance and supported their recovery.

Ms Stacy Johnson

Lecturer at the University of Nottingham in the School of Health Sciences

Mary Seacole was, by all accounts a maverick, an entrepreneur and not one taken to boundaries.  I am grateful for her legacy of boldness and audacity which inspires many. As a black nurse and academic, these are all attributes I admire and aspire to emulate. A statue is the very least we can do to honour her memory. It will be a tangible reminder that we must always go beyond our personal limits and comforts in the cause of the sick, the suffering, the needy.

Felicia Kwaku

Deputy Chair of the Chief Nursing Officer's (England) BME Advisory Group

I am committed to supporting the Trustees in raising the necessary funds required for the  Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal. As the Deputy Chair of the Chief Nursing Officer's (England) BME advisory group, I consider that Mary Seacole demonstrated the type of nursing care that we all aspire to deliver today.

Joan Pons Laplana

NHS Nurse Caremaker

Mary Seacole did things few other women of her time did. She made her own way in the world, as a single woman and as a person of mixed race. Mary was proud to be half Scottish, and half Jamaican. People respected her. Mary helped everyone she met without discriminating. She mixed medicine with kindness. She is a role model that represents a lot of the values that I admire in a person. She represented the 6Cs values at it best through her care, courage, commitment, communication (via her book), competence and obviously she was one of the most compassionate women of her time.

Denise Lewis OBE

Retired athlete, broadcaster

To be asked to become an ambassador for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal is a great honour. My beloved grandmother worked tirelessly in nursing and eventually passed away in the same hospital that she had worked in for 40 years Mary Seacole was a pioneer for women like my grandma who ventured into the unknown and dedicated their lives to helping others. A statue of Mary would be a fitting way to recognise her legacy and the contribution she made to our society. The next generation of black women need to know her story

(Image credit: ColorSport)

Mr Rudi Lickwood

Comedian

Mary Seacole is a true inspiration and was loved by the British troops. Hence my trips to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia.

 

Leon Mann   Leon Mann

BBC & ITV broadcaster & film-maker

Black history was pretty much non existent when I was at school, so I only became aware of Mary Seacole in my late teens. I was staggered that her incredible achievements and contributions to the world were not recognised and celebrated far more across society - in the media and in our schools.  It will be fitting to pay tribute to her with a statue at the heart of London, where those crossing Westminster Bridge will see Mary standing strong. This will be the first statue of a named black woman in the UK – which is long, long overdue. I hope others will follow.

Photo of Gloria Mills

Gloria Mills CBE

National Secretary Equalities, UNISON

I believe that Mary Seacole's contribution to nursing should be acknowledged and recognised. For too long Black Women's contribution have been ignored or made invisible in history.  The Mary Seacole Statue will be a permanent legacy and recognition of her work.

Photo of Joan Myers OBE

Joan Myers OBE 

Child Nurse Consultant

Mary Seacole is a renowned and celebrated nurse pioneer who is a role model for many nurses. She deserves a memorial for the brilliant work she achieved, even in the midst of challenging circumstances. She  epitomises what can be accomplished when you have vision, resilence, determination and passion. I am proud to be an ambassador for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

Suzanne Packer

Actress

The Mary Seacole Memorial Statue is so much more than a piece of art. It represents a validation  of her existence as a great human being and as we are all intrinsically linked through past, present and future it connects with my life and makes me proud, particularly as a Black woman in this country, to have such a powerful and courageous role model. I am honoured to be an Ambassador for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

Adriana Paice

Artist and Curator

Mary Seacole was an extraordinary woman: a fearless, compassionate, pioneer who is an inspiration for us all. This elegant memorial will be a lasting reminder of her dynamic humanity, as well as a wonderful addition to the rich landscape of public art in London. I am delighted to support this important campaign.

Professor Sir Geoff Palmer OBE

Emeritus Professor of Grain Science

Mary Seacole's life embodied those aspects of humanity and service that define a great person. She overcame the severe prejudices of her time to save lives in war and peace. Her statue will serve as a special symbol of human kindness and service to all people.

 

Mr Courtney Pine CBE

Jazz musician

Mary Seacole travelled so far and at her own expense in order to nurse and heal soliders in the Crimean War.  There are still a lot of people who are not aware of her remarkable achievements which is why I am supporting the Memorial Statue Appeal.

Lisa Rodrigues CBE

Writer and mental health campaigner, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

I am also Vice Chair of Council at the University of Sussex and Senior Independent Director of the NHS Confederation.  All these platforms provide excellent opportunities to promote the Seacole Statue appeal and help 1.4 million NHS staff and 60 million patients understand the wonderful contribution of Mary Seacole to modern health care.

Michael Rosen

Writer and broadcaster

Mary Seacole was of course a real person: a woman whose life was full of struggle, hope and commitment to her fellow human beings. Yet, she's more than that: rightly she has become a symbol for people of colour, and for anyone with hope for a fair and just society. Part of that stems from what she achieved, part from the fact that this achievement has been overlooked so often. For her to have been omitted from the proposed history curriculum is a slap in the face for all who have admired Mary Seacole and deprives all children of an important part of how we should be telling the story of this country.

Photo courtesy Laurence Cendrowicz

Joan Sadler OBE

Associate Director of Patients and Communities at the NHS Confederation

Joan was formerly National Director of Patient and Public Affairs based within the Patient and Public Engagement and Experience Division at the Department of Health. Joan was awarded an OBE in 2007 for services to health and diversity.

The nature of racism, prejudice and indifference has changed for the better in the UK. However, as a Black woman working in the public sector and having achieved a measure of career success, the case for recognising and celebrating remarkable achievements by other Black women is still necessary and affirming. Having faced barriers to succeed as a woman and particularly as a Black woman, the achievements of Mary Seacole are extraordinary. Given the time and place within which Mary worked and successfully cared for all people, she did so in especially adverse conditions. Additionally her refusal to let the social stigma of her time affect her goals is also an aspect that should be remembered and preserved for future generations.

Photo courtesy of Paelo

Mr Tom Sandford

Executive Director, Royal College of Nursing

As an individual registered nurse, and on behalf of the RCN, I'm delighted to support the Mary Seacole statue appeal. The presence of her statue in London will be an enduring reminder of the diversity of our nursing history, it will be a great representation of the lengths that individual nurses have gone to in securing safe care for our patients, and it will be a source of inspiration and direction for those who presently and in the future follow in her footsteps.

Mr & Mrs Noel Seacole

Descendant of Seacole family

We are delighted to be Ambassadors for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

 

Having traced the paternal line of Noel's family to Mary Seacole's brother-in-law, we have always felt a close connection with this pioneering woman.  Noel's father devoted a great deal of time researching the Seacole family tree and spent many hours talking with publicists and authors, wishing to heighten awareness of Mary's achievements and her historical importance.We are dedicated to continuing this role and want ever wider audiences to understand her relevance and vital role. Not only do people need to be aware of her unique nursing skills, but more importantly, there is the need for all to appreciate her campaign to break down the barriers of racial prejudice.

 

It is interesting to note, that not many people used to question the origin of our surname. Other than to ask if we were from the North East, where Sea Coal was mined. We would counter this with the question "Have you heard of Mary Seacole?" The answer would invariably be,"No."  However, over the past few years more and more poeple have asked if we are related to The Mary Seacole. This is such a huge step forward - as we know, there is still a long way to go. It is encouraging though, that it is now not always, Mary who?

 

Helen and Noel Seacole

Maggie Semple OBE

CEO The Experience Corps

I am often reminded about the need to know about and acknowledge people who have done great things. Mary Seacole's story is one that I admire. She was a remarkable woman and today she continues to be an inspirational role model. This is why I became an Ambassador of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

Professor Laura Serrant

Professor of Community & Public Health Nursing & Associate Dean of Research & Enterprise in the School of Health & Wellbeing at the University of Wolverhampton

As a previous Mary Seacole Nursing Leadership award winner, 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.

Josette Simon OBE

Actress

Mary Seacole is a renowned pioneer. Fearless, compassionate and an inspiration. Pushing on through immensely challenging circumstances, with resilience, determination, passion and humanity. What a lesson for us all! I am so proud to be an Ambassador for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

Eleanor Smith

Theatre nurse at the Birmingham Women&rsquot;s NHS Hospital. Elected UNISON&rsquot;s first Black President in 2012.

I believe that Mary Seacole&rsquot;s contribution should be recognised and a Memorial Statute to Mary will be a symbolic tribute to the contribution of Black women to nursing over the years.

Doctors Corry and Jeroen Staring-Derks

Mary Seacole researchers

We think that thoughtful history of nursing will trigger students to become confident nurses who are aware of their worth in healthcare and society.  They will also understand the implications of prejudices in respect of age, gender, race etc. and will recognize that the role model of Mary Seacole can facilitate men and women to overcome barriers which are still present in nursing. That is why we love to research her life.

Trevor Sterling

Solicitor

Mary symbolizes the essence of true human spirit; to be part of a community and to care. She worked to help strangers but treated them as friends, journeying and enduring against the odds, to provide hope, compassion and helping hands. It is important to recognize her work, as this will deservedly shine a light on the true caring spirit of healthcare professionals and facilitate her place as a true role model for those whose ambition is and should be simply to care.

Cleo Sylvestre

Actress

As an actress I am honoured to portray Mary Seacole. Born in Jamaica, she grew up with a passion for travelling, a gift for healing and a profound knowledge of herbal remedies learnt from her Creole mother. What a caring and determined woman!

Rudolph Walker OBE

Actor

I am delighted that, at long last, Mary Seacole's place in history has been reclaimed. I am proud to support this Appeal to erect what will be the first ever statue to honour this remarkable doctress and nurse.

Jackie Weatherill

Mary Seacole film producer

I came across Mary Seacole by sheer accident and was amazed that I had not heard of this female role model who achieved so much off her own back.  To have such experiences, that determination and contribute so much as a woman, let alone middle aged woman from Jamaica with attitudes of that period, is an inspiration.

There are many statues in London, mostly to dedicated to male war heroes or leaders, but so few women, and even less minority figures which seems ridiculous. We need this statue to inspire as it would have inspired me if I knew of Mary as a young girl.

Sir Willard White OM CBE

Opera Singer

Mary Seacole's inspiration to us lies in her courage to be true to an inner conviction, despite the glaring force of uncomfortable opposition. By remembering and honouring her, we acknowledge that what we believe in can become reality.