Meet the Team

Advocacy Team

We have a committed and very talented team of over 30 advocates, who work throughout Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. Their role is to be on the side of the person they are supporting, representing their interests and making sure that their rights are respected. It can be complex and technical work, always with a meaningful and respectful relationship at its’ heart. No two advocacy relationships are ever the same. Our advocacy team has an exceptional working knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty safeguards, the Care Act and much more. All of our advocates are either working towards, or have achieved, the IAQ qualification in independent advocacy.


We have a range of people who have responsibility for:

  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Administration and HR
  • Development

Marty Slade OStJ, MSc, FIstLM, MIHM, FCMI

Chief Executive

Having joined the Royal Army Medical Corps at age 15, Marty served as both soldier and officer retiring after 40 years service in the rank of Colonel. Following this, he was the CEO of two previous large charities (one of them twice!) each providing a wide range of services for those with learning disabilities. Marty also has commercial experience, having worked as the business development director for a company providing global medical support. Marty is passionate about ensuring that the disadvantaged are afforded the best possible support available and is committed to improving the outcomes of all whom we serve.

Clare Tarling

Service Development Manager

Clare Tarling joined Dorset Advocacy in November 2015. Her background is in supporting people with Learning Disabilities to be self-Advocates. She has a special interest in accessibility, communication, engagement and designing Easy Read information.

Clare achieved a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2019, which included courses in entrepreneurship, finance, management, strategy and human resources. Clare’s ambitions are to support Dorset Advocacy to be:

  • A great place to work
  • Strong and sustainable
  • Responsive to the needs of people in Dorset

In her spare time Clare plays the violin, and enjoys running, swimming and generally messing about with her 2 children.

Sheryl Seeley

Practice Lead

Prior to joining Dorset Advocacy in 2004, Sheryl worked as a volunteer advocate supporting parents with Learning Disabilities who were going through child custody processes.

Sheryl was one of our first IMCAs, and now manages a team of 9 professional, highly skilled and knowledgeable advocates. Sheryl’s aim is to support the project and its’ staff to continue to grow and continue to be a leading example within this field.

My high sense of injustice and belief that everyone should be treated the same led me into volunteering and this continues to be at the heart of all that I do.

Sheryl was also part of the initial development of Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Advocacy in Dorset and now manages this project. The staff team of 3 all have specialist knowledge of CHC, as well as the personal skills which enable them to support people during emotional and distressing situations.

When I am not working I continue to actively support my children even though they are all grown up now. I also enjoy travelling and meeting up with friends. Mostly in my free time I like to indulge in my passion for drawing and painting.