Maria Marsden (née Podlasiuk)

Joined 1981

Irlam and Cadishead Nursing Cadet Division, Greater Manchester

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Black and white image of a young female in St John Ambulance uniform standing to the right of an adult male in uniform. The adult is presenting the girl with a large trophy.
Maria Podlasiuk was the first Cadet to receive the Irlam and Cadishead Division Tommy Ainsworth Memorial Shield in recognition of her work in the Division, 1985 Image courtesy of Maria Marsden
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Without the things that I’ve done as a Cadet I wouldn’t be sitting here now. Like we started off, my career intentions was a doctor. But with St John it changed how I wanted to help and realised that research for me was a better way of doing things, just – so that’s why I went down the research route initially. And then continuing working with positive young people I wanted to be able to put my science and working with young people together as a career, so that’s why I became a teacher. Without all the courses, and the development and the networking and the meeting of new people, I wouldn’t have been able to do half the youth roles I’ve been able to do, and inspire young people and empower them, such as yourselves to do things like this in the future. And I wouldn’t have probably even put pen to paper to apply for coming to do, you know, to be interviewed here now without St John giving me such a lot of different opportunities from all those wonderful soft skills of communication and friendship, empathy and so on, to rock climbing, to pot holing, to sailing to canoeing. Well I say canoeing and sailing, I swam quite a lot rather than that. But you know, all of those things have enabled me to progress and be here now.

Excerpt courtesy of Maria Marsden