By his own admission, Mark keeps himself just as busy outside of work as he does in the office.
“I’m a senior volunteer with the St John Ambulance,” he said. “My main role is event planning and management, so I do events such as the Keswick to Barrow Walk, Total Warrior, Carlisle Fireshow, the concerts at Bitts Park this summer and Kendal Calling. Carlisle is growing, with lots of good events.
“People are seeing Carlisle as more of a destination. The opportunities are there and people are coming to Carlisle as it’s being promoted as an entertainment destination.
“I’m also part of Abbey Singers, a local choir which has been going for over 60 years. I’ve always sung and been involved in choirs wherever I’ve been and Cumbria has a huge number of choirs you could join.
“In Cumbria, we have such lovely churches. I’ve sung in Patterdale Church and you can stand outside afterwards and look at the views. You get around and see the county.
“When you’re in a choir or any musical ensemble, you’re there to perform to people. If you don’t have a good audience it takes the thrill out of it. In Cumbria, there’s always a group of people who want to watch you perform.
“We perform to tourists as well so we get lots of different audiences. If you’re staying in Keswick, you can either sit in your hotel room and watch TV or go to watch a local concert. What are you going to do?
“In Cumbria, you could quite easily find a classical music concert every weekend, probably even a choice if you wanted. The local community choirs are of a really good standard as a general rule.”
Mark is also a keen cyclist and has great cycle routes through beautiful countryside on his doorstep.
“All-in-all, Cumbria offers me a great quality of life in a friendly and supportive community,” he said.