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Advice Space

2266. Margaret Marshall

Margaret Marshall, aged 90, from Belfast, has been dedicated to supporting the work of Northern Ireland charity ‘Advice Space’ for over 30 years, providing free, confidential advice to hundreds of members of the public every day.

Margaret joined the charity after retiring as a teacher, where her commitment and passion for helping others have made her an invaluable team member. Margaret has since helped over 3,500 people by giving impartial advice, ranging from helping households in relation to benefits and social security, to supporting those seeking assistance with disabilities.

Prior to the pandemic, Margaret had been providing online advice, but now physically welcomes those coming into ‘Advice Space’, providing the first point of connection. Margaret acts as an ambassador for the work of the charity within the local community, which this year, marks its 60th anniversary as the foremost citizen’s advice organisation in Northern Ireland.

In a personal letter to Margaret, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“Whether it’s providing support on how to access social security or helping disabled people find assistance, you have been a vital point of connection. Services like this are invaluable, particularly for those facing difficult times, and they would not be possible without the dedication of people like you.

“I know that this year marks the 60th anniversary of Advice Space — and so it is entirely fitting to recognise the incredible difference you have made to the charity. On top of your successful career as a teacher, this adds up to a remarkable record of service to your community.”

Peter McMahon, Chief Executive of ‘Advice Space’, said:  

“At ‘Advice Space’ we are grateful to have such long-serving volunteers as Margaret who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help those who need some guidance and support. We are immensely proud to have Margaret as part of our team, and we congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition. Her dedication serves as an inspiration to us all.” 

Margaret said:

“I started volunteering with what was ‘Citizens Advice’ in the early 90s and have always enjoyed meeting and helping new people with the charity being a very important resource for people who are in need. I had previously been involved with a number of different charities over the years alongside my time as a teacher and a councillor in Castlereagh and wanted to use some of my knowledge and experiences in order to support others.” 

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