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Mark Paul (He/Him) 

Evidence and Impact Officer

What do you do at Become? I am the Evidence and Impact Officer at Become: I gather evidence and I measure our impact.

To gather evidence, I conduct research and I work with care-experienced young people and with other organisations on research projects. This allows us to grow and maintain a body of evidence about the care system and young people’s experiences within it, which we then use to campaign, to communicate and to create change.

To measure our impact, I work with my amazing services colleagues to understand what we’re doing, who we’re reaching and the difference we’re making to the people who receive our training and support. I make sure that we’re measuring these things in ways that give us useful insights, which allow us to better understand how we can make an even bigger positive impact.

Can you say a bit about your past experiences and qualifications? After leaving school, I did a degree at Edinburgh in Philosophy and Mathematics and, a little while later, I did a master’s in Philosophy at KCL. 

Before joining Become, I worked as an internal management consultant in the NHS. I was seconded from that role to Leaders Unlocked, where I led a research project about how the cost of living crisis was affecting young people across the UK. Before my NHS role, I had roles in education and youth homelessness. I’ve also had all sorts of part-time, voluntary and freelance roles working with young people along the way.

What do you like about working at Become? The people and their purpose.

What drives you? Carved into the stone on the side of the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood are many quotes. I used to walk along the wall and read them every now and again back when I lived in Edinburgh as a student. This one stayed with me:  

“Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.” – Alasdair Gray 

Gray, a brilliant novelist and artist, actually didn’t say it, but popularised it. It stayed with me because it captures so beautifully how I want to always feel about our nations. Often, that feeling is alive in me, but it comes and goes. Gray’s quote reminds me to do what I can to rekindle it whenever it fades.  

I believe we’re in the early days of a better care system. That’s what drives me.  

As a side note, on that quote wall, I also like “Abair ach beagan is abair gu math e”, which means “Say but little and say it well”.  As you’ll see from my answers here, I’m not very good at that.  

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I love cooking, coffee and obscure facts about interesting things.  

I love boring my unfortunate friends and relatives with those ‘interesting’ facts, and then cooking for them to make up for it. It’s a high price to pay, but it’s cheaper than most restaurants.