As well as maintaining the statue, the Mary Seacole Trust hopes to build on the huge amount of community support that made the statue possible, encouraging individuals and organisations to sign up to Mary Seacole’s legacy.
Trevor Sterling, chair of the new Trust, explained: ‘The statue was funded by donations from thousands of individuals and organisations, bringing together people from a wide range of fields – NHS, the military, the arts, politics and many others. While the statue is important in symbolising and recognising Mary’s contribution, there is now an opportunity and responsibility to harness this unprecedented diversity of support to create a legacy beyond the statue.
‘Mary fought to overcome barriers that could easily have prevented her from going to the Crimea and providing the care that soldiers so desperately needed. She was recognised for her courage and caring skills at the time – by military leaders and the royal family – but she was then lost to history for more than 100 years. The Mary Seacole Trust is well placed to ensure that Mary and all she stands for can inspire current and future generations, encouraging people of all ages to embody Mary’s qualities: hard work, compassion, entrepreneurialism and caring.’
The Mary Seacole Trust’s aims are:
To educate and inform the public about the life, work and achievements of Mary Seacole
To ensure the maintenance of the permanent public memorial in the garden of St Thomas’ Hospital
To promote Mary Seacole as a role model, supporting those involved in tackling social challenges of inequality, with a particular focus on young people and the promotion of good citizenship, entrepreneurship and achievement
To build on the legacy of Mary Seacole and campaign for fairness and equality, promoting diverse leadership in private and public service, including, although not limited to, the NHS in the UK.
The Trust will rely on grants, sponsorship, donations and fund-raising events to finance its work. An education legacy grant of £50,000 has been awarded to the Trust by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
Click here to find out more about the two major programmes that the Trust is undertaking.