Mary Seacole charity shortlisted for diversity award

The charity devoted to Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole has been shortlisted for a national diversity award.

The Mary Seacole Trust has been shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards (NDA) 2017.

The statue of Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole. Picture: Barney Newman

The charity, which promotes the legacy of Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole, has been nominated for the Community Organisation Award in the Race, Religion and Faith category.

UK charities and other role models, including British celebrities grime artist Stormzy, actress Denise Welch and actor Riz Ahmed, are among those nominated for their work to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

The Mary Seacole Trust has taken over from the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, the organisation which ran a 12-year community fundraising campaign to build a statue of the Jamaican-Scottish Victorian nurse who had been almost forgotten for over 100 years.


The statue was unveiled in June 2016 in the grounds of London’s St Thomas’ Hospital, across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Mary Seacole Trust chair Trevor Sterling said: ‘We are thrilled to be shortlisted for such an important award.

'The statue was funded by donations from thousands of individuals and organisations, bringing together people from a wide range of fields – the 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.'

Role models

Mr Sterling said the recognition was an important milestone as work began on the trust's key projects – educating schoolchildren about Mary Seacole and encouraging diversity in leadership within both the public and private sectors.

National Diversity Awards founder and chief executive Paul Sesay said: ‘I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer.

'Each year I am overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of nominations, and those shortlisted should know how privileged I am to share your stories with the nation.'

The awards ceremony will be held in Liverpool in September.

The full list of nominees is here.

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