An array of Christmas wishes for when you need a break from the family or TV …
As 2019 draws to a close, I want to reflect on what SOUK and we, as a team have achieved. Since starting the enterprise in 2016, I couldn’t imagine how far we would have come in 2019. This year alone, we have tripped our school engagement, we have upped the quality of our articles while ensuring we can still publish daily.
Overall, we have worked with over 1,300 secondary schools and colleges across the UK. Have been selected as the Greater London Authority partner for the creation of their Political Literacy resources for the London Curriculum. And, we have (finally) moved office from zone 5 to zone 1. Doubling our workspace and enthusiasm!
As well as this, we have brought politicians together to play sport with young people and created a Drill music track with a rapper called Drillminister. We also filmed and edited a documentary on Brexit with some incredible academics from Sheffield Uni (to be released in 2020). We have established partnerships with a number of amazing organisations from across the UK and the world, from the WWF to the US Embassy.
However, none of this could have been achieved if it wasn’t for the teachers who took the time to fight for political literacy in their schools. For the young people that engage with us. For the amazing organisations that we partner with. For our writers that always give their all to ensure we have the best, freshest and most engaging angles on the topics of the day. For the businesses and universities that work with us. And, last but not least for my AMAZING team without which none of this could have been possible.
For Lucie Spicer, who took on our delivery and E-Learning Platform and turned it into something we are immensely proud of. For her efforts in creating (and launching in Jan 2020) our adult version of our political literacy programme.
For Rali Raleva, who developed our partnerships and tenders and ensured we always hit the target. For her efforts in ensuring we always tracked impact and improved in every aspect of our programme, so that we always delivered more value for the funding we received from our funders and partners.
For Diana Aganey, an original who has been on this journey from the beginning of our launch! Our articles and online platform has gone from strength to strength under her guidance. Due to her dedication, we have managed to secure an additional stream of funding, ensuring we can carry on and expand our mission in providing all that need it with access to Political Literacy education.
Thank you to each and every one of you. We would not have achieved all this without such a talented and dedicated team. Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I can’t wait to continue on and smash 2020! But for now, let us sit back and reminisce on all that we have accomplished in 2019.
Matteo Bergamini, CEO&Founder
Christmas is the time of the year when you get to reflect on everything that has happened so far — the good, the bad, the challenging, the exciting … And to comprehend how each experience has shaped you into the person you are today.
This is what I am doing this Christmas — away in the Austrian Alps, away from civilisation.
I still remember writing my Christmas message last year, just when I had started working for Shout Out UK and was experiencing the overwhelming stress of having to revise for my winter exams. Lots has changed since then. I completed my bachelor studies successfully, fully dedicated myself to Political Literacy and embarked on the path of becoming an independent and financially self-sustained adult (at least I like to perceive myself as one! :D). Oh, and let’s not forget the madness that UK politics has been!
What I am immensely grateful for this Christmas is that I received the chance to work with an incredible team of hard-working, honest people, who are always ready to encourage me when in doubt, to celebrate the successes together, and to fight alongside each other for making UK politics at least a bit better! I cannot imagine spending five days a week, eight hours per day with a different team!
My Christmas wish this year is simple — to be able to continue helping others in whatever way possible — be it through political literacy, fiery encouragement, genuine empathy, or just love.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Ralitsa Raleva, Policy & Stakeholder Relations Officer
I love Christmas.
Well, what I actually love is the new tradition that I have. Heading over to Brighton for Christmas every year (and getting a break from London is always a delight!). Eating rich vegan food, drinking delicious cocktails and spending some quality time with the family cat and dogs! The #hype counting down the days until this happens has never been sweeter since starting work. Can’t knock the fun family time either, the potential that I may win the Trains board game (yet again) is almost too much to handle.
Lucie Spicer, Head of Educational Technology
Christmas is that special time of year — and I use ‘special’ liberally here — where all of us have the opportunity to enjoy at least three things: other people’s meltdowns, emptied shop shelves, and crowds of fellow beings wondering the streets like zombies after the apocalypse.
But it is also that time when we can forget about work and concentrate on ourselves, our family and friends.
To all of you who celebrate this day, may your Christmas be bright. And to those for whom it is just another calendar date, I hope you will enjoy that feeling of walking through the quietened streets and thinking that Time is standing still as humanity partially slumbers.
I especially wish a happy Christmas to my team members at SOUK, who I am fortunate to call my friends.
A Good Christmas Day to All!
Diana Aganey, Managing Editor