Mary Seacole is now recognised as a COVID-19 hospital in England

Mary Seacole is now recognised as a COVID-19 hospital in England

15,651 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
Petition to
Matt Hancock MP The Secretary of State for Health and Care

Why this petition matters

Started by Patrick Vernon OBE

With the Excel, NEC and other centres in England and Wales being named NHS Nightingale after Florence Nightingale it reflects the lack of recognition and diversity of NHS and care staff after 72 years of the Empire Windush.

Mary Seacole is a Jamaican British war hero who supported British troops as a nurse during the Crimean war. Despite being rejected by Florence Nightingale to join her band of nurses, she travelled to the front line of the war in Crimea. She was so widely loved for her healing powers, the soldiers nicknamed her “Mother Seacole.”

Mary inspired thousands of women and people of colour to dedicate their lives to the NHS. Recently the Royal College of Nursing recognised her contribution to British Nursing, publicly declaring her on the same footing as Florence Nightingale.

I am an activist and campaigner who has been fighting for years to get Black Britons recognised for their contribution to history. In 2003 I launched an initiative called 100 Great Black Britons, where the public voted Mary Seacole as the greatest black Briton of all time for the heroic way she served the country during war.

Since then I have fought and won campaign a campaign to get her on the school curriculum. Over 130,000 people voted for her to be on the £50 note back in 2019.

The lack of ethnic minority representation needs to change especially in the NHS especially at senior level and in the national narrative of the country.

Please check out Gina Yashere's video on why we are still not recognised for our contributions in Britain.

The recent Windrush scandal sent a damaging message that British institutions don’t respect the valuable contribution that black Britons have made to the country. Naming Mary Seacole as part of the fight against COVID-19 would be a major step forward highlighting the contribution of BAME staff who have worked tirelessly for the NHS since its creation in 1948 and highlight the collective spirit of the country to fight the pandemic and reduce the impact of infection.

Please sign this petition so Matt Hancock the Secretary State for Health can name the NEC building as the Seacole NHS as a beacon of hope and diversity for the country.


15,651 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!