“We stand in awe”

“We stand in awe” says Advice NI on nominating local learner for national ‘People’s Choice’ award
After a horrific road traffic accident thirteen years ago leaving her in a wheelchair, Marina Sloan, mother of two daughters, took the huge step of going back to study in 2016 and achieved a City & Guilds Level 3 in Independent Advocacy with Advice NI.  She now volunteers in Willowbank Community Resource Centre, Dungannon as a Peer Advocate for other disabled people working alongside them to have their voices heard.
Advice NI nominated Marina for a national award after completing a course which will allow her to advocate on behalf of other disabled people.

With support from Advice NI and Power NI, Marina attended the prestigious award event at The Roof Gardens, Kensington, London. Power NI has been kind enough to donate £500 towards Marina’s travel costs.

Marina’s trainer, Marian Cinnamond, in Advice NI summed up the feeling towards her with the simple phrase,
‘We stand in awe.”

Speaking about her achievement Marina said:
“I was a candidate on the Level 3 Certificate in Independent Advocacy course run by Advice NI starting in September 2015 and completed in July 2016. It was very challenging, not least because of life-changing injuries I suffered as a result of a road traffic accident approximately 13 years ago. I was delighted to achieve the qualification and not only that, I was awarded a City & Guilds Medal for Excellence. Thanks to Advice NI and with the support of Power NI I attended the national awards ceremony in London in June.”

Kevin Higgins, Advice NI added:
“Marine is an inspiration. She richly deserved not only to achieve her qualification but also to be awarded the Medal for Excellence in recognition of her outstanding performance. Marina always found ways to continue and complete the course when faced with difficulties that others may have found insurmountable.  In over twenty years of delivering training the Advice NI tutor never came across a student who had so much to overcome and yet manged not only to overcome but to triumph. We stand in awe. It doesn’t matter that Marina did not pick up an award at the ceremony – she is still an inspiration.”

Marina was a candidate on the 3610 Certificate in Independent Advocacy course run by Advice NI starting in September 2015 and completed in July 2016. Her own life experience has given her an outstanding level of knowledge of what it is like to be vulnerable, powerless and have other people take over the decision making role.  She recognises the importance of independent advocacy to take forward a person’s own wishes and preferences.