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Mary Seacole statue threatened by lack of funding

LASTING TRIBUTE: Mary Seacole

A CAMPAIGN to erect the first Mary Seacole statue is under threat as its organisers have been unable to secure the funding required.

The monument, the first statue of a named black woman in the UK, was due to be unveiled on the grounds of London’s renowned St Thomas’ hospital, directly opposite the Houses of Parliament, in autumn.

Lord Soley, who launched the Appeal in November 2003, has managed to raise £400,000 since the launch of the appeal but donations have since stalled, leaving the campaign £70,000 short of the necessary funds to ensure the unveiling goes ahead as planned this year.

He said: “Mary Seacole was famous and popular with our troops in the 19th century and heaped with praise by troops and public alike but after her death she was air brushed out of history. Why?

“Much of what we have raised comes from small contributions, nurses, schools, army units and many others as well as a number of large and generous contributions.”

He added: “We are very grateful to all those who have supported this project, but if we don't get the outstanding amount within the next few weeks, work on the statue will come to a halt and delay the unveiling for at least 6 months and possibly longer.”

The statue has been described to be a celebration of diversity in the arts and significant in recognising the presence of black people in British history.

The appeal has just launched a `Last Lap Just Giving’ campaign on social media in a bid to meet the shortfall and provide funding for a legacy programme and urges supporters to get behind the campaign with one final push.

To donate, please visit: http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/maryseacolememorial/LastLap

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