At this time of year, we like to pause and reflect on the events that carried us through the last twelve months.

2023 has been anything but boring.

We saw the Doomsday Clock set at 90 seconds to midnight; ChatGPT became our common enemy; OceanGate’s Titan tragedy shocked us back into reality; Barbie the movie made us rethink Ryan Gosling’s career direction; the world lost Ms Tina Turner; and a disgraced politician became a Lord and Britain’s Foreign Secretary of State because desperate times call for desperate measures.

The year has been memorable, and memories are the silent witnesses to our lives.

With that, the SOUK Team would like to share some of their fondest memories with our readers.

Gabriel Kaabianpour — Opportunities and PCVE Lead:

The previous year has been one of excitement and growth for Shout Out UK. While I take many fond memories with me from 2023, the dearest to me is the launch of our Voter ID campaign! By collaborating with a host of great partners and creating various educational resources, we were able to empower communities across London to become active citizens in our democracy, giving them a say in the decisions that matter.

Despite there being more work to be done and a lot more people to register to vote, I’m confident that 2024 will be an incredible year for democratic engagement and Shout Out UK’s growth — until then, I wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Cora Wilson — Programme Coordinator for Democratic Engagement:

Some of my fondest memories at SOUK this year have been the amazing stalls we’ve run around London to raise awareness about registering to vote, as well as the big changes to our voting system. Several of these stalls have been very cold and wet! But, invariably, it’s been wonderful to chat with people of all different ages and backgrounds and to share laughs, stories, and important information about our shared democracy. I’m looking forward to many more next year!

Gillian Rolnick — Programme Coordinator:

My favourite memory of 2023 is visiting Greece with three of my best friends. We biked around one of the islands and beach-hopped on the most beautiful, sunny day. One of my friends is Greek, and it was so fun and special to see his home and be taken to all his favourite places.

Obviously, my other favourite memory is moving to London and starting at Shout Out UK!

Amanda Gurruchaga — Head of Programmes:

My fondest memory of 2023 has been completing a multi-day hike in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile. One day, with 90 km/h winds and constant rain, my friend turned to me and said ‘I would literally rather watch paint dry,’ and I couldn’t have agreed more. The whole experience was incredible, even the rubbish parts, which is always a good reminder to have some perspective.

Lucas Scott-Harston — Head of Opportunities and Social Impact:

My fondest memory of 2023 was when I was skiing in the Swiss Alps on a beautiful sunny day in April. I wish that everyone gets the chance to experience this at one point in their lifetime.

Amy Turner — Digital Growth Coordinator:

Unfortunately, I cannot list just one fond memory of 2023. Instead, it has to be the many memories that I have collected each time I have had the opportunity to be able to interact with people as part of the #NoVoteNoVoice campaign. I have had the pleasure of meeting many different people from many different backgrounds. Each conversation has been varied but special and has helped me to learn about the unique experiences and challenges of particular communities.

I hope that everyone has a well-earned rest during this festive time and fun in any of the ways that they may choose to celebrate!

Matteo Bergamini MBE — CEO & Founder:

As 2023 ends, there is a lot we can look back on with both sadness and despair. Yet amongst the rubble of a pretty turbulent year, lie many things to be thankful for. Often, we just need to spend a few moments in our minds to clear the bad and focus on the good. My fondest memory was getting a surprisingly inconspicuous letter from the Cabinet Office. Having left it unopened for a few days whilst I regained control of my intrusive thoughts that assumed I was in some kind of trouble, I finally got the courage to open it and was pleasantly surprised. It turned out that I had been nominated and accepted for an MBE! Thinking back on this memory reminds me that although some jobs seem thankless, do not assume the worst. Just keep your head down, doing what you love.

Nikita Atwal — Education Coordinator:

This year has been full of adventures, but I would have to say my fondest memory of 2023 is travelling to India. Having not visited since I was 2 years old, I was very excited to be experiencing this country again.

The highlight of this trip was seeing The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. As soon as I walked into the Temple I was overcome with a feeling of peace and nostalgia. I was flooded with memories of my mum forcing me to go into the river when I visited as a toddler. As a city girl, I remember this wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed doing, but this was a heartwarming memory nonetheless.

After not having travelled to India for over two decades, I left feeling closer to my heritage and my family. A trip that I will definitely cherish!

Diana Aganey — Managing Editor:

My two perfect memories of the year happened in the summer and autumn. This summer, I finally met, in person, a dear friend with whom I have been texting for nearly five years! #MeetInPerson. My second fond memory is doing laps in the pool when it was pitch dark outside and feeling perfectly tranquil as I glided through the water.

Happy Holidays to All!!

DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.