Unite general secretary Len McCluskey will hand over a £5,000 cheque to the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal at the union’s headquarters in London today (Monday 16 September).
Len McCluskey has agreed to become a patron of the appeal which aims to raise the £500,000 target needed for the statue of Mary Seacole (1805-81), the Jamaican/Scottish nurse whose pioneering work during the Crimean War was then overlooked in the UK for nearly 100 years after her death.
Len McCluskey, who will present the cheque to the appeal’s vice chair Professor Elizabeth Anionwu, said: “It is a great honour to have been asked by the trustees to be a patron of the appeal and Unite is delighted to make this financial contribution towards the erection of what will be a landmark statue.
“Mary Seacole, who many regard as the greatest black Briton, is a wonderful role model in the struggle for equality and against the pernicious scourge of racial discrimination.
“Mary Seacole paved the way, against considerable odds, to show the enormous contribution that those from minority ethnic groups have made and continue to make to nursing in the UK.”
The appeal has raised more than £300,000 towards the statue which has planning permission to be erected in the grounds of London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.
Unite, the country’s largest trade union with 100,000 members in the health service, embraces the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, and the Mental Health Nurses Association.
The presentation will take place at 13.00 today at Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, , Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN. A giant mock-up of the cheque will be handed over by Len McCluskey.
If the media requires photographs of this presentation or further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.