The NEC in Birmingham should be called the NHS Seacole
Mar 28, 2020 —
With the Excel conference centre at the Docklands is being named NHS Nightingale after Florence Nightingale, it is important that the second emergency hospital tackling COVID-19 at the NEC in Birmingham should be called the NHS Seacole.
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.”
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. 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.
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