A FLINTSHIRE man's dreams of becoming a YouTube star are becoming a reality thanks to a Mold initiative which helped one of his videos go viral. 

Outside Lives was set up in 2019 by founder Lucy Powell in Gwernymynydd with a focus on bringing together the local community through the environment and wellbeing. 

Thanks to over £100,00 in National Lottery funding, the social enterprise has since flourished, with a number of projects being run in the Mold area, both at the charity’s site and on the road. 

One of these projects is the Growing Skills Progression programme which seeks to support individual's life goals and how Outside Lives can help realise this.

Mark Poland, 26, is a volunteer at Outside Lives and has a burning ambition to become a YouTube star and the next Blue Peter presenter, keen to pursue a career in front of the camera.


Mark regularly gives guests tours of Outside Lives and started doing videos for the group's YouTube channel, showcasing his natural gift for being in front of the camera - so much so, Mark often does everything ad-lib!

The budding TV star was delighted to discover one of his videos showcasing what he gets up to on an average day at Outside Lives went viral after being shared on the VT Instagram page, with the video amassing over 700,000 views. 

Volunteer co-ordinator at Outside Lives, Kate Bowyer spends most of her day working with Mark, and she revealed her delight that Mark's talents went viral: "I work with Mark every day and his goals were clear, he wanted to go on to do YouTube.

"We talked about these goals and how he could achieve them.

"To see his video go viral, he's absolutely chuffed. His progression has been outstanding."

Kate added: "I've got the best job in the world. I get to see the progression for people like Mark and how much it means to them.

The Leader:

Outside Lives founder, Lucy Powell said: "He’s blown us away by his ability behind the camera and chooses to go ad-lib, totally rocking it!

"Mark is working with our progression lead to figure out what’s next as there doesn’t seem to be any stopping him!"

"It’s a two way relationship with people, it's a 'win-win' when people are listened to and volunteer activity is tailored to what they love! 

"Mark is one of many volunteers at Outside Lives steadily progressing towards their goals.

"Achievable plans are coproduced and sustainable actions developed, which ultimately lead to people making positive changes to their lives and some magic moments just like this!"